Everton tipped to do smart free transfer in summer

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Everton did manage to strengthen their defence in the summer transfer window.

The Toffees signed Ben Godfrey from Norwich City to bolster their central defensive ranks, while Niels Nkounkou came in as a new left-back option.

Godfrey has gone on to make four appearances in the Premier League, playing twice as a right-back and twice as a centre-back.

He played the full 90 minutes at the weekend as Carlo Ancelotti’s side lost to Leeds United in a pulsating, end-to-end game.

Still, it seems that Everton are still hopeful of bringing in new blood to their backline.

Sport Witness carries quotes from Italian journalist Ciro Venerato, who was talking to Radio Kiss Kiss, and he claims that there could be a move for the Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic.

The 29-year-old is a full Serbia international with 25 caps to his name, but he has fallen out of favour at the Italian club, playing just 45 minutes in Serie A this season.

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His contract expires at the end of the season and Venerato believes he is likely to leave, while naming the Toffees as a potential destination.

He said: “He could most likely go away. There are rumours but Napoli have made it clear that the relationship with the player will not continue if the player’s requests remain the current ones.

“Maksimovic will be released in June. To date, the player is still a fan of Ancelotti and could be a great opportunity for Everton, who could take him on a free transfer.”

In total, Maksimovic made 38 appearances under Ancelotti when he was Napoli manager.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

Well, this could be a bargain.

Maksimovic is valued at £16.2m by Transfermarkt and he is a massively experienced defender.

He has made 116 appearances in total in the Italian top-flight, for both Napoli and Torino and is a versatile presence; he can play at centre-back or at full-back, while he can also play in midfield.

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In 2019/20 for Napoli, per WhoScored, he averaged 1.5 tackles per game, 1.3 interceptions, and 2.7 clearances, along with a passing success rate of 93.1%.

Everton have options at centre-back, with the likes of Mason Holgate, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, and Godfrey in the squad, but Maksimovic may be too good a deal to turn down.

If he can be signed for absolutely nothing, Everton really ought to do the deal.

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