According to Gazzetta dello Sport via Sport Witness, Everton are considering a move for Marash Kumbulla if they fail to sign Gabriel Magalhaes and may have to battle RB Leipzig, Eintracht Frankfurt, Fiorentina and Inter Milan for his signature.
Kumbulla has been on Everton’s radar all season and would cost €23m – similar to Gabriel. Everton prioritised signing the 22-year-old and looked to have won the race before Chelsea held talks with his representatives. Gazzetta dello Sport believe Kumbulla is Everton’s second choice if they can’t sign Gabriel.
Despite the 20-year-old Albanian international having two years remaining on his deal at Verona, the Serie A outfit are happy to let him go for the right price this summer. Everton have been looking for centre-back to accompany Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina and Michael Keane, but the report says there’s a slim chance they might sign both players.
As per WhoScored, Kumbulla has made 18 Serie A appearances and scored one goal. He’s racked up 1,461 minutes of football, completed 84.2% of 652 passes, won 49 aerial duels (64.5%), completed 33% of his dribbles, had nine shots with 44% accuracy, blocked 25 shots/passes/crosses, made 53 clearances, given away 35 fouls and averaged a tackle (32) or interception (27) every 25 minutes.
It remains to be seen if Everton can beat out so many clubs to bring the 20-year-old to Goodison Park, but the Toffees should sign one of the two defenders they’ve narrowed in on. Carlo Ancelotti wants strength in depth ahead of next season’s push for a top-six finish while Marcel Brands wants the club eyeing young talent to lower the average age.
Gabriel and Kumbulla perfectly fit the criteria.