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Everton trying to outbid Chelsea for defender

Reports of personal terms leading the competition

Torino FC v SSC Napoli - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

According to Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports it appears Everton have a bid of £38 million for the services of defender Kalidou Koulibaly. That is significantly less than the reported £46 million number that had been rumored previously. Perhaps a conversion from the euro that someone incorrectly handled.

This is all good, but reports abounded that Everton also lead the Axel Witsel talks in regards to personal terms and as of today that still hasn’t helped them lure the Belgian to Goodison. This appears to be the bigger target for Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh though and is clearly the chosen player to replace John Stones as his talks with Manchester City appear imminent at this point.

Koulibaly would be a big change from Stones on the back line. He is a much more defensive center back and while he’s also a good passer he does not make nearly as many dribbles with the ball as Stones. He does make 2.5 tackles per game to only 1.4 for Stones. He also beats Stones in interceptions with 2.5 compared to the youngster’s 1.7 per game.

This aggressive defending does lead to a lot more fouls from Koulibaly that might not pair with Ramiro Funes Mori very well, but when Phil Jagielka is healthy this should improve the defense. For all his height, Stones has never been a great defender of aerial attacks. Koulibaly wins 2.5 aerials per game compared to only 1.6 for Stones.

All things said this looks like a solid exchange and good business if completed for Everton. They will potentially on occasion miss Stones ability to carry out from the back, but that will be alleviated by a back line that is much harder to beat both on the floor and in the air.