While we’re just as hesitant as the average football fan to take any media sources during the transfer window at their word, the sheer volume of reporting from Italian sports journalists is enough to make you believe that not only is Napoli’s Allan being linked with Everton, but that the deal is pretty much done and dusted, and just waiting to be announced.
There’s no doubt that Everton’s spineless team could desperately use the stiffening of a tackling machine like Allan, but there have also been some concerns raised about the player’s age and likely transfer fees and wages.
After all, the Toffees find themselves in this sticky spot with transfer funds because of frivolous summer purchases from past regimes - how can we forget the summer when Everton needed a playmaker, and then proceeded to buy three, with Wayne Rooney making a surprise return to his boyhood club, Gylfi Sigurdsson being brought in on a club record transfer fee and Davy Klaassen also being bought just for kicks. The sins of that summer are still being paid for while the Blues look to reduce a bloated squad with more players that earn fat paychecks while contributing little to the on-pitch advancement of the club than any of the top English sides, which is also why Everton were not even in the top half of the Premier League table when the 2019-20 season finally ended.
In recent weeks the Blues have been linked with three midfield players who are all on the other side of 25, and it appears to be a concerted effort from Marcel Brands and Carlo Ancelotti to bring in proven talent who can get the job done now while setting the club up for future success.
The secret to bringing in veterans but ensuring they don’t become millstones down the road is by spending prudently on transfer fees, but even more critically, retaining the players on reasonable wages.
To that end, it looks like the club have done it right with Allan if Italian journo Ciro Venerato is right. As quoted in Calcio Napoli 24, the somewhat reliable Venerato has indicated that Napoli have stuck to their guns asking for €30 million for the midfielder, with an additional €5m in bonuses, but have left the door open to a discount depending on whether the payment is on installment basis or the completion of the bonuses. There has been previous talk of further defining the bonuses on realistic achievements.
A transfer fee of £27m plus a further £4.5m is on the higher side of what the Blues can likely afford considering they have only made a couple of seven-figure sales in the form of Morgan Schneiderlin and Kieran Dowell.
Apparently the deal is all done bar the shouting and will be announced ‘in the first ten days of September’ which is slightly strange because delaying the transfer doesn’t make much sense when Ancelotti needs the player bedded in and working together with his new teammates, and the new season barely three weeks away.
However, as Venerato goes on to note, it’s the wages where the Blues have managed to keep the situation under control with a contract for about £70,000 per week including bonuses with the paperwork already filed. That puts him at the same range as club captain Seamus Coleman and about halfway up the wage bill.
Finally, Venerato also points out that the Neapolitan side have rebuffed approaches from Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Atletico Madrid saying that deal is done. Now, we’ve heard that before too with Reinier (Real Madrid) and Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal) just in this last year, so let’s see.
No term has been mentioned, but a three-year deal would be quite appropriate where the Blues can easily move on if he starts to decline in a couple of seasons.