As the Premier League is in shutdown, Carlo Ancelotti has apparently determined that Brazilian defender Gabriel will be his first signing in the summer as he looks to strengthen his Everton squad ready for the 2020-21 season.
Everton have been repeatedly linked with the Lille central defender over the past few months and now the Daily Mirror are saying that the club are already in advanced talks to sign him as soon as this season is concluded.
Obviously, again, this must be taken with a pinch of salt as with all these transfer rumours. However the continued way in which this particular story has been circulating makes me think that there may be something in it.
Gabriel, (full name Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes), a player we’ve previously mentioned, is a left-footed centre-back who would seemingly bring balance and fit well into the Blues central defence alongside either Mason Holgate, Micheal Keane or Yerry Mina.
The 22-year-old has the full range of characteristics that the Toffees need. He’s a solid defender with the ability to bring the ball out of defence. He can also play in midfield too.So it seems as though a move for this player could well be on.
Turning to other possible summer targets I thought I would highlight three other young players Everton should be looking closely at.
The first is a talented young midfielder who is also playing in the French Ligue 1. Eduardo Camavinga is a player I have previously mentioned in past articles.
The 17-year-old is enjoying a very good season with French club Rennes. Camavinga is a really strong defensive midfielder who also has the energy and work rate that Everton have sorely missed since the departure of Idrisaa Gueye. I think he could be an ideal replacement for the Senegal international.
Camavinga is becoming more widely known as he is having such a good campaign. So the Toffees might face some competition for his signature. However he is playing for a relatively small French club and if Everton can get in early he could probably be prised away for a relatively modest fee.
Another youngster this time his trade in Germany, is Christopher Nkunku. This 22-year-old forward is very versatile and can play anywhere across the front line.
Nkundu is another very youthful French talent who is unlikely to remain at RB Leipzig for long if he carries on producing the kind of stats he has been.
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In particular he has notched up 12 assists in just 15 games, a pretty good rate of productivity. Of course that is partly the ability of his sides forwards top convert chances, but he certainly seems to be a player who creates plenty of such chances.
The final player is another forward this time playing in Holland’s Eridivisie. Gyrano Kerk plays for FC Utrecht and again can operate across the front line. His best position though appears to be on the right hand side, which is the attacking position that Ancelotti is keen to strengthen.
These three players are all possible candidates I think Everton should be monitoring. With the increasing likelihood that the Premier League will not re-start until at least mid-April at the earliest and probably not until the late spring or summer, there’s plenty of time to look closely at these and other targets.