Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands could be about to give Marco Silva a midfield unit that would rival most in the Premier League, as Tuttosport, via Calciomercato, understand the Toffees chief is still sounding out the potential of a move for AC Milan ace Franck Kessie.
The Ivorian had been a firm fixture of Gennaro Gattuso’s Rossoneri side during his tenure in charge of the San Siro natives, but the iconic midfielder’s departure from the helm threw question marks over Kessie’s time with the sleeping giant.
Calciomercato suggested the 22-year-old’s name had emerged on our radar last month while negotiations with FC Barcelona over Andre Gomes’ potential return rumbled on, with interest from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur also noted.
The North London outfits have not wavered, either, as Tuttosport, via Sport Witness, added in their Monday edition that long-time admirers West Ham United had once again joined Spurs and the Gunners in showing a willingness to make a move for Kessie.
AC are expected to demand €35million (£31.3m) for the Atalanta product after new-boss Marco Giampaolo gave the green light to his exit, as the Serie A heavyweights need to make a decent profit on the €24million (£21.5m) outlay they recently spent to turn his two-season loan into a permanent arrangement.
Negotiations over the 27-cap star’s future in the Italian fashion capital is not expected to be resolved anytime soon, however, as the central midfielder is currently representing his native Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Brands landing Kessie shortly after retaining Gomes beyond his season on loan could give Silva a midfield unit most clubs lust to possess, though.
The AC Milan star would take some of the defensive responsibilities away from Idrissa Gana Gueye, while allowing our latest permanent addition from Barcelona to stretch his legs with greater freedom, having failed to register stand-out numbers during his time on loan.
Silva would have to adapt his favoured 4-2-3-1 system to utilise the trio all at once, however, which would make it unlikely that he and Brands would pursue a move for Kessie without the Toffees losing a key player.
But Everton again being linked with Kessie could be due to the club missing out on LOSC Lille midfielder Thiago Mendes, who was considered as Brands’ number one candidate to succeed Gueye should the Senegal international leave Merseyside this summer.
Mendes, though, is due to join Olympique Lyonnais for €25million (£22.3m), after undergoing a medical with the Ligue 1 side on Monday, July 1.