Bengaluru, March 9: Everton are looking forward to what could be a very busy summer transfer window. The Toffees now have a truly world-class manager like Carlo Ancelotti whom they appointed during the mid-season following the sacking of Marco Silva.
Ancelotti has managed to improve the blue half of Merseyside to a great extent but he lacks the right kind of players at his disposal to make the club compete with the big boys of English football.
Ancelotti has an aura of his own and with him at the helm, the Toffees now enjoy a much bigger pulling power in the transfer market and they are looking to make the best use of it in the summer. A busy summer transfer window looks to be on the cards at Goodison Park and Newcastle United star winger Allan Saint-Maximin has emerged as a target of the Blues.
It is reported that Ancelotti had the 22-year old Frenchman watched as he starred in Newcastle United’s midweek 3-2 FA Cup win over West Brom and this is not the first time when the eagle-eyed Everton scouts watched the 22-year-old. Newcastle signed the fleet-footed winger last summer only from Nice on a £16.5m deal that includes add-ons worth a potential further £3.5m. However, his value has soared to a great extent in these few months and he is expected to cost around £30-£35m in the summer.
Everton could face competition from Crystal Palace for the Frenchman as the Eagles also seems to have identified the 22-year-old as a replacement of want-away superstar winger Wilfred Zaha.
Zaha, who was strongly linked with Everton last summer, was priced out by the south London club and unless they lower their asking fee, a move for Zaha seems unlikely once again. That could help Everton seal the move for Saint-Maximin as Crystal Palace will not have the funds unless they sell Zaha.
A winger who is comfortable of playing on either flank, Saint-Maximin is blessed with sensational skills and ability on the ball. He is a natural dribbler and has bags of pace. His first season in England has not been particularly impressive but he has shown his glimpses of quality and could improve under a more attacking-minded manager like Ancelotti. Aged just 22, the Frenchman has his best days ahead of him and certainly has the potential to become a great player.
Everton, who need a lot of quality new signings, cannot afford to make too many expensive signings. They need to take care that they abide by the FFP rules of UEFA and it is not easy to strengthen the whole squad unless it is managed carefully. A few signings like Saint-Maximin who could be in the bracket of £30-£35m could prove to be wise additions to the squad.