Everton are in talks with captain Seamus Coleman over a coaching role at the club, Marcel Brands has revealed.
The 32-year-old is out of contract next season and is likely to face increased competition next year with Carlo Ancelotti confirming his desire to sign a right-back in the summer.
However, the club are keen to retain Coleman’s services both as a player and a coach, when he decides to hang up his boots.
The Republic of Ireland international has made nearly 350 appearances for the club since joining from Sligo Rovers for just £60,000 in 2009. If he did remain at Finch Farm he would be following in the footsteps of Leighton Baines, who retired at the end of last season before joining the club’s coaching staff.
Speaking at a Everton USA Live event, Brands said:
“I really like to use former players, especially with for example the likes of Leighton and Seamus.
“They have so much experience, they love the club, they know the club, they know what’s necessary at Goodison.
“I will do everything to keep these guys on board to help me to move the club forward.
“He’s not only a fantastic player but a great character in the dressing room, a great professional.
“I’m now already in talks with him to get him involved in, let’s say, things off the pitch.
“He’s definitely someone I really want to keep in the club after he finishes his career. He’s a great example for everyone.”
Brands highlighted the importance of keeping long-serving players such as Coleman and Baines around the club and the influence their professional attitude can have on younger players.
“He is natural, he’s normal. He’s the guy that will not change in the future, I think Leighton is the same.
“I think we have a lot of those good guys in the club, and it is so important to keep these kind of guys on board.”
Everton have been criticised in the past for employing coaches simply because they used to play for the club, but when is comes to Coleman there is definite logic in keeping him around, at least until he has proven himself as a coach.
Like Baines, Coleman’s leadership and professionalism is obvious, when he playing is on the pitch and talking off it.
His abilities as a player are on the wane so Ancelotti is right to seek a long-term replacement in the summer. But given we have a disjointed squad with a high turnover of players in recent years it pays to keep someone around who knows the club inside out and the standards expected of anyone pulling on the blue shirt.