Everton have sights on Italy international comfortable in three positions

Date published: Tuesday 16th February 2021 12:00 - Neil Foster

Gianluca Mancini AS Roma TEAMtalk

Reports in Italy claim Everton have been monitoring Roma centre-back Gianluca Mancini, with a view to making a summer bid.

Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti has overseen an upturn in the club’s fortunes since arriving in December 2019. He has a win-rate of 50% and has guided the Merseysiders to seventh in the Premier League standings.

They have two games in hand on most clubs above them and are fighting for a top-four berth in 2020-2021. But the Italian tactician is refusing to rest on his laurels and is already looking at ways to improve his squad.

He signed Norway international forward Joshua King from Bournemouth in the winter window. And now Italian daily Leggo (via Inside Futbol) has suggested he has his sights on Mancini.

The 24-year-old has impressed since making the switch from Atalanta to the Stadio Olimpico in July 2019. He penned an initial loan deal which became permanent last summer.

The towering centre-half made 32 Serie A appearances last term and has 19 under his belt this season. Roma coach Paulo Fonseca is a big fan of the stopper and it would take a sizeable bid to sign him.

The former Perugia ace has already been capped four times at full international level by Italy. He made his Azzurri debut in a 6-0 home win over Liechtenstein on March 26, 2019.

Mancini’s versatility marks him out as a manager’s dream, with an ability to play right-back as well. He has also been deployed as a defensive midfielder and seems to have many strings to his bow.

Ancelotti is said to have a lengthy list of players he wants in the off-season and Mancini is somewhere near the top. There will be other suitors, and Inter’s name has been mentioned in connection with the player.

He is under contract in the Eternal City until the summer of 2024.

Fulham loss a wake-up call

Ancelotti highlighted a specific area in which Fulham were better than Everton in their 2-0 victory at Goodison Park. The Italian felt the Cottagers were far more physical than his charges, who were unable to cope.

Signing a player of Mancini’s stature would certainly help. He stands six feet four inches tall and is an imposing presence at the back.

“We wanted to have a good control of the game putting more midfielders on the pitch but they press a lot and we could not play as want,” said the boss.

“We did well when we played every three days [earlier this season]. Physically we didn’t have the necessary power to match the intensity of Fulham.”


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