Everton have set their sights on signing Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly this summer, Football Insider can reveal.
This site revealed last week that Carlo Ancelotti’s priority in the next transfer window is to recruit a “world class” centre-back.
An Everton source has told Football Insider that top of the club’s target list will be Koulibaly, who is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the game.
The Senegal international fits the profile of the type of player Ancelotti wants at the heart of his defence.
The Italian’s plan is to recruit an A-grade defensive leader just like Liverpool and Man City did with their landmark purchases of Virgil van Dijk and Ruben Dias.
Everton are planning to work on a deal for Koulibaly even though he turns 30 in June and will have little sell-on value.
It was reported by the Mail last year that Napoli valued their prize asset at £89million amid interest from the likes of Man United.
Ancelotti knows all about the calibre of the centre-back after previously managing him during his 18-month spell in charge of Napoli that ended in December 2019.
Koulibaly enters the final two years of his contract in the summer and that could open the door for Everton.
Football Insider revealed last week that Ancelotti does not believe the current Everton permutations at centre-back work together.
That is one of the main reasons he has continually swapped between a three-man defence and an orthodox back four this season.
Of Everton’s four senior centre-backs, each of Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate have started at least 18 Premier League matches.
Last Saturday, Mina was recalled to a three-man defence and Keane dropped to the bench as Everton held out for 84 minutes against Man United in the FA Cup before falling to a 2-0 defeat.
Owner Farhad Moshiri has already made it clear to Ancelotti he will have rein to spend big in the main summer market.
That is likely to mean another major search for top talent who can help take the team to the next level ahead of the move to their £500million new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.