Everton are preparing to bolster Marco Silva’s backline with a move for Torino centre-back Armando Izzo, as Gianluca Di Marzio understands the Toffees are ready to test the Serie A outfit’s resolve.
It is thought that we, and Arsenal, are preparing to bid €25million (£22.2m) for the 27-year-old, who shone in the Italian top-flight last season after completing an €8million (£7.1m) summer switch to the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino from Genoa, having rejected the chance to join West Ham United.
Il Toro President Urbano Cairo has reiterated that their defender is not up for sale this summer though, even if a move would return £15million in profit, and may instead look to offer the one-time Italy international a new contract.
Although, Tuttosport, via CalcioMercato, had reported over the weekend that Cairo could be tempted into parting ways with the defender for €30million (£26.8m), amid rumours that Manchester United and we had fallen behind Arsenal in the race for Izzo’s services.
The former Napoli youth star made his international debut as a substitute in a 6-0 win over Lichtenstein in a European qualifier in March, while deployed at right-back, a position he never featured in during the domestic season.
In his 39 outings at the heart of Walter Mazzarri’s defence, Izzo scored four times and assisted one goal, while averaging 2.1 successful tackles, 2.4 interceptions, and 3.9 clearances per 90 minutes in 37 Serie A games.
The £39,673-a-week ace also feels he is the most determined Italian defender bar Juventus’ iconic Giorgio Chiellini, and has been flattered by the reported interest shown in him by club’s in England.
When asked by La Gazzetta dello Sport what the next step in his career will be amid interest from Manchester United and Arsenal, he said: “In the meantime, I am happy, everyone likes to be courted.
“I have another four years [on my] contract with Torino, I want to arrive and to prove my worth.
“I don’t like it to be said simply that I’m a good player, I’m worth more. Italian defenders, apart from Chiellini, I don’t see others stronger and more determined than I am.
“I am honoured to wear the Grenade shirt, and I will spit blood until the last day I wear it.”
Izzo was also asked if he felt the high transfer fees for defenders was justified, with Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt linked to Juventus for between €60m and €70million (£53.5m to £62.5m) and Virgil van Dijk signed for Liverpool for €80million (£71.4m).
“De Ligt is very good,” he added. “If a defender is strong, it is right to pay him a lot. Also because those for which it is worth spending some figures are not many.”