Everton dodged a bullet by signing Josh King on a short-term deal, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker admitted the Toffees were always taking a gamble on the 29-year-old in January.
As revealed by Football Insider sources this week, Everton are set to reject the snub the chance to tie the former Bournemouth man down past the end of the season.
It is understood the Toffees paid £2million for King in January but would have to pay a top-up fee to the Cherries if he signed a long-term deal.
King was out of contract with Bournemouth at the end of the season and struggled for regular game time in the first half of the campaign.
However, he has played backup to the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison at Goodison Park.
He has made eight appearances for the Toffees but is still yet to make a league start under Ancelotti.
Whelan admitted things had not gone to plan for King on Merseyside so far.
However, he insisted Everton made the right decision keeping their options open ahead of the summer.
Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Everton did it the right way, getting him on a short-term deal. Having a little look first, not outlaying a big amount of money.
“The opportunity was there for Josh king but he wasn’t playing regularly at Bournemouth. That’s the problem.
“He came in probably not match fit, not playing with confidence. He wasn’t playing often at Bournemouth because he’s going on a pre-contract.
“You’re trying to break into a team where you’ve got an England centre-forward who’s scoring goal after goal. He’s their top scorer so you’re not going to prise him out of that position, that’s for sure.
“All in all it’s not really worked out, no one’s really lost anything or gained anything by it. Maybe Everton are saying: ‘Well he’s not for us,’ and they’ve not laid out a huge amount.”