Carlo Ancelotti eyeing up Jordan Pickford replacement from former club

Date published: Friday 19th March 2021 5:22 - Dan Burnham

Carlo Ancelotti could look to cash in on Jordan Pickford and replace him with Napoli’s Alex Meret, a report has claimed.

Pickford has retained the number one shirt for Everton this season but has faced stiff competition from Robin Olsen.

The Sweden international on loan from Roma has impressed, with both parties said to be keen to make the move permanent in the summer.

However, the feeling around Pickford’s future is less certain. Therefore, if a reasonable offer comes in for England’s first choice, they may choose to let him go.

This would be dependent on having a replacement lined up who would strengthen in that position. According to Corriere dello Sport, this could be 23-year-old Meret.

Napoli are in a tight battle for Champions League qualification in Serie A. The Italian newspaper report that they will sell a goalkeeper if they fail to achieve a top four spot.

Meret has been in a battle of his own for a starting spot with David Ospina. They have made 12 and 14 league appearances respectively, a back and forth that is likely to do more harm than good if it carries on for another season.

The young Italian shot-stopper, described as ‘enfant-prodige’ in the report, is said to have an admirer in Ancelotti, who spent time at Napoli before joining the Toffees.

He brought his fellow countryman to Naples for a fee in the region of £25million in 2018. Meret played 14 times in the league in Ancelotti’s sole full season in charge.

Pickford cost Everton a similar amount a year prior, but is four years older and two inches smaller than Meret.

These benefits could see the deal come to fruition. But it won’t be clear until the summer if the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place for it to materialise.


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Now or never for King

Meanwhile, former Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish feels the time is right for Ancelotti to let Joshua King show what he can do for Everton.

King, 29, was a winter signing, joining from Bournemouth for a nominal fee. He penned an initial six-month deal, with the option to extend if all parties agree.

However, it was reported earlier this week that Ancelotti has been unimpressed with what he has seen so far. The Norway forward was signed as cover for Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

But he has yet to start a game for the Merseysiders and has played just 117 minutes of top-flight football. They have come from eight substitute appearances and he may well be let go at the end of the campaign.

READ MOREAncelotti urged to give winter recruit his ‘sliding doors’ moment

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