Everton may miss out on free agent but it won’t be big setback

Numerous reports have linked Branislav Ivanovic with Everton and at 36 his age has raised more than eyebrows.

Everton may look into signing Branislav Ivanovic, a free agent, after seeing out his contract with Zenit St. Petersburg. While even Fulham remain interested for the Chelsea veteran, it may be a better idea to not fall into the trap of signing the 36 year old.

And while most Toffees supporters have done their best to forget the days when Walter Smith managed the club, there is perhaps a lesson available from that time.

At 36, Ivanovic is a year younger than Richard Gough, when the rugged Scot signed for the Royal Blues on a free transfer in 1999. Like now, the Toffees needed help in the middle of the back four and Gough’s presence did make a difference.

Unlike Gough, Branislav Ivanovic won’t becoming out of retirement if he does join the Toffees. He is a free agent after finishing his contract at Zenit St. Petersburg.

Reportedly, Marcel Brands doesn’t want him, but that hasn’t stopped reports emerging of him becoming a Royal Blue and playing for Carlo Ancelotti again, as reported in the Liverpool Echo, Republika cited that the Serbian told friends:

“I will probably continue my career at Everton, I got a good offer from them. I will see how things will turn out.”

However, it has now emerged Branislav Ivanovic will likely join Fulham.

According to Bleacher Report, Craven Cottage has emerged as Ivanovic’s desired destination. He knows the area and will be reuniting with his friend Aleksandar Mitrovic in Fulham squad that needs additional experience.

Common sense points to Everton dodging a bullet in not going after the Serbian international. They already have injury issues with Yerry Mina and at 36, Branislav Ivanovic is probably one bad tackle away from bad knee ligament damage, The kind of injury that would put paid to a 36-year-old centre-backs career, let alone his season.

And while the idea of having Ivanovic serving as a mentor for emerging young central defenders in Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite, who both played better than expected has a sort of nice warm fuzzy last few scenes of a sentimental air to it, the chances are it wouldn’t work out that way.

It’s not in Everton’s best interests, Ancelotti wants to build something at Goodison Park and it’s unlikely he wants short-term fixes like Branislav Ivanovic would be.