Everton are ‘serious’ about a move for Napoli defender Nikola Maksimović, having seemingly given up on Lille defender Gabriel Magalhães.
The Blues are keen to add a central defender to their squad this summer and had been targeting the Brazilian from the French side.
However, having pulled back on a deal earlier this year, they now appear to have been overtaken by Napoli, who are eyeing him as a replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly.
If that has happened, they will need to try and find an alternative, and it appears Maksimović is one they have their eye on, at least according to Italian journalist Ciro Venerato.
Speaking to Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli, relayed by CalcioNapoli24, he says the Blues are negotiating with the Italian side for the centre back.
“A hot axis with Everton, Ancelotti negotiates not only for Allan but also Maksimović, who is valued at €15m by the club,” he said.
“Fiorentina and Roma are also on the player. There are also rumours about AC Milan, but it is Everton who are serious.
“This could be an indirect confirmation on Gabriel’s Neapolitan future. Ancelotti wanted him at all costs.
“He will have understood that Napoli has now got the Brazilian and has therefore tackled Maksimović, whom he relaunched during his time in Campania.
“Not only Allan then, but Maksimović also approaches the Premier League.”
The idea of Maksimović being sold has been backed up by CalcioNapoli24, with journalist Bruno Galvàn confirming they are interested in a sale, but not mentioning any interest from Everton.
Il @sscnapoli sta facendo delle valutazioni per Maksimovic. Gattuso lo stima, ma Nikola e Manolas non garantiscono una certa continuità fisica. Da qui l'idea di ascoltare offerte per il serbo. Vedremo se qualcuno offrirà 15-20 milioni.
— Bruno Galvàn (@BrunoGalvan85) August 13, 2020
Indeed, Venerato throwing them into the mix seems a little too convenient.
He’s been pushing the Everton/Napoli transfer mess all summer, and this is another that he will be able to get plenty of traction out of.
The problem is, Maksimović doesn’t make much sense for the Toffees, particularly as a direct alternative to Gabriel, who is six years younger for a start.
Everton have made it clear they want to sign young players to develop, so there is no logic in them targeting a 28-year-old, particularly if they’re serious about Allan, who is 29.
A likely scenario is that the defender’s name has been mentioned in the talks with Napoli regarding the Brazilian, which can often happen when clubs are in dialogue with each other.
Whether he’s a serious target is very debatable, with this one going firmly on the dubious pile for the time being.