AC Milan are reported to have stunned Everton despite lowering their price to £34.4m, amid claims the Toffees are interested in taking attacker Rafael Leao to Goodison Park this summer.
The Toffees started the season brightly and topped the table after matchday six. However, they have won just two of their last 11 games and slipped to a dreadful 1-0 home defeat by relegated Sheffield United on Sunday evening. It left an angry Ancelotti barking a strong message at his under-performing players.
Much of Everton’s transfer plans for the summer may well depend if they qualify for the Europa League.
They are now three points behind West Ham, who currently occupy the Europa Conference League place. With two games left, time is running out for them to break into Europe.
Ancelotti confirmed that where they finish will have an impact on the kind of players they target.
He said: “To be ready for Europe you have to be in Europe. We have to try to win the two games and see if we are in Europe or not.
“If we are we will build a squad to be in Europe. If we’re not we’ll build a squad to be better in the Premier League.”
However, according to Calciomercato, the man who tops Ancdelotti’s wanted list is AC Milan attacker Leao. The Portugal attacker looks likely to be sacrificed by Milan this summer as they look to rebuild this summer. Like Everton, they too made a strong start to the season but now face a battle to secure a top-four finish.
Leao on the market
One man they will reportedly sacrifice is former Lille man Leao. And the Italian website claims the Toffees have learned that Milan will seek a starting offer of €40m (£34.4m) for the 21-year-old. That, however, is some distance shorter than the €50m Milan placed on the attacker earlier this year.
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Man Utd will pay the £60m asking price for Raphael Varane and want more defenders, while Arsenal look set to let David Luiz and Willian go in the summer.
That fee, however, might be a little more than Everton were anticipating. As per Calciomercato, Milan hope to raise as much as possible for Leao and use the funds to finance a move for Dusan Vlahovic. Fiorentina value the striker in the €50m bracket; a fee Milan will match if they can raise the funds.
The article claims Everton are not alone in their pursuit of Leao. He is also being linked with Wolves as they look to further their Portuguese connection.
Leao has six goals and six assists from 29 Serie A appearances this season. However, he has suffered from a lack of consistency, hence Milan’s decision to consider his sale.