Hellas Verona have rejected an ‘important’ offer from Everton for youth defender Destiny Udogie, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.
The 17-year-old left-back has been a key part of I Gialloblu’s Primavera 2 side this season, having made ten appearances and scored three goals as Nicola Corrent’s squad joust for promotion into the top-tier of Italian youth football.
Hellas Verona’s U19s are currently third in the standings after winning eight of their 14 matches, in which Udogie has helped to keep clean sheets against Cremonese Primavera and Venezia Primavera.
Udogie’s exploits under Corrent are believed to have peaked the intrigue of Everton and Ligue 1 side AS Monaco, though both outfits have been denied the youth talent after Hellas signed him to a new contract at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.
The new deal will keep the Verona-born prospect as his boyhood side until the summer of 2022, after retaining Udogie’s immediate future became a clear target for President Maurizio Setti and CEO Tony D’Amico.
Everton and Monaco are both believed to have offered Setti ‘important’ multi-million euro offers for Udogie, but I Gialloblu’s President refused to accept either.
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The 17-year-old was a regular for Italy’s U17s under Carmine Nunziata with 16 outings at the age level, and Udogie has since continued to be someone Nunziata has relied on with Italy’s U18s and now U19s having progressed through the ranks over seven months in 2019.
His development suggests it was no surprise that Carlo Ancelotti and Director of Football Marcel Brands were keen to bring him to Merseyside, where he could develop under David Unsworth in our U23s.
It may not have been a surprise if Udogie were to reject the offer, either, as there have not been many to break through from our academy in recent years and instead, talented prospects like Antony Evans have secured permanent moves away.
Ancelotti has fielded U23s midfielder Anthony Gordon in one game since his appointment last month, and included youth defender Lewis Gibson in the matchday squad as we drew with West Ham United though he did not feature.
Former boss Marco Silva’s most preferred youngsters during his tenure were Dominic Calvert-Lewin (54 appearances), Tom Davies (29) and Mason Holgate (18), while Jonjoe Kenny featured 13 times and Kieran Dowell twice.
Beni Baningime, Gordon and Joao Virginia were included in matchday squads under Silva but never featured in the action.