While it wouldn’t seem like another central midfielder is the most pressing need for Ronald Koeman and Everton, that has not deterred them from continuing the chase for quality players when they become available.
Inter Milan are staring down the barrel of Financial Fair Play regulations, and need to move salary off their books very shortly, which has meant that some of their first teamers are on the transfer market.
Reports out of Italy suggest that Everton are an interested party, and may have in fact had a bid for Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic rejected:
Providing competition for Roberto Mancini’s Zenit St-Petersburg, the Toffees have been told time and time again by the Italian media the Croatia international is available for somewhere in between €20-25m.
Despite having a €50m release clause in his contract, the Serie A club are in no position to ask for that much for the 24-year-old, and with a need to raise €30m in the next nine days to meet FFP regulations, they’re likely to get very desperate for cash over the next week or so.
Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday suggest that Ronald Koeman’s side made an €18m bid for the Croatian midfielder, which was rejected by the Italian side.
Brozovic, 24, fits the mold of what Koeman and Walsh have been looking for this summer. He’s headed into the prime of his career, and offers positional versatility. Brozovic and Davy Klaassen can play anywhere in midfield competently, while Ross Barkley doesn’t seem to know where he can play and whether or not he can do it competently.
The Croatian had a bit of a down year with just 4 goals and 2 assists in Serie A, but is a better passer than the likes of James McCarthy and Muhamed Besic.
If the Irishman, in particular, is headed out the door to Burnley, West Bromwich Albion, or Newcastle, Brozovic could be the ideal replacement. Everton would get younger, more creative, and they’d be half-rid of Martin O’Neill, too.