Marco Silva has given many Everton supporters a ‘bit of hope’ that Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma may return to Goodison Park for next season, having told the Liverpool Echo that he remains “hopeful” at the possibilities of signing the French centre-back.
The Toffees are understood to have held talks with the Stamford Bridge natives in June, at which point the South West London side insisted a decision on the defender’s future would not be made until their new manager had been appointed.
Frank Lampard’s return to the Pensioners should now accelerate the process, but if he decides that he would like to retain Silva’s top target’s services, we will be left searching for other candidates, a prospect the boss is not afraid of.
“I am hopeful [that we can sign Zouma]. I think I am hopeful like all of our fans are,” Silva said. “But I have to tell you that we have different solutions because we cannot just have one solution.
“I have different solutions in my mind, but I am hopeful, and if we can give our fans this fantastic feeling, it will be key. But, if not, we have to go in a different way, but it is part of the market, part of creating a squad.
“After that position, we have three or four more [areas we would like] to strengthen.”
While Silva did not comment on who he and Marcel Brands may have in store should Chelsea decide against selling Zouma, we have been linked with some alternative centre-backs recently.
Torino ace Armando Izzo, for one, emerged as a potential target toward the end of June with a €25million (£22.3m) offer muted, although Il Toro President Urbano Cairo will reportedly reject all bids for the 27-year-old.
Juanma Lopez y Gelu Rodriguez, the agent to Real Sociedad’s Diego Llorente, also suggested in June that the Txuri-urdinak should prepare themselves for an official approach by the Blues for their £26,982-a-week Spaniard, thought to be on offer for €30million (£26.8m).
Links between Everton and Djene Dakonam also returned in June, as Getafe President Angel Torres insisted he would only sell their defender for his full €35million (£31.3m) release clause.
The most recent name to be linked with a summer switch to Goodison Park, though, is also reportedly the cheapest, with the Toffees thought to be interested in Genoa CFC star Davide Biraschi. The 25-year-old is understood to be the most sought-after player at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris right now, and yet is only valued at €10million (£8.9m).
Biraschi could prove to be a superb alternative to Zouma, but these fans certainly hope the Frenchman will be back on Merseyside in time for the new campaign…