Everton are making January transfer plans and Rafa Benitez has set his sights on landing AC Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli, according to a report.
Romagnoli, 26, is one of two Milan players, who have so far refused to sign a new contract and Everton are trying to capitalise.
Franck Kessie is the other Rossoneri contract rebel and technical director Paolo Maldini issued a warning directed at the pair over the weekend.
Speaking about the departed Manuel Locatelli, Maldini said via Calciomercato: “Locatelli? We asked him to remain, he asked to leave. At Milan only those who are motivated and want to stay remain.”
Whether that will push centre-back Romagnoli into penning a new deal or closer to the exit door is unclear.
But, according to CMW, (via Sport Witness) Everton boss Benitez wants Romagnoli in January.
The 12-cap Italy international will see his contract expire at the end of the season. That means he can discuss a transfer elsewhere with a foreign club in January.
Inter Milan and Juventus are also said to be interested in taking the defender on a free transfer. Officially the Serie A pair will have to wait until next summer to negotiate. Everton though can move ahead with talks in the winter window.
And per the report, the Toffeee are “planning to present an offer to the Rossoneri as early as January”.
Everton were mentioned as suitors before Benitez arrived at Goodison. But it sounds like Benitez has given recruitment guru Marcel Brands the green light to go for Romagnoli.
The former Roma star has captained Milan in their last two games, including Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Juventus.
The signing of Romagnoli would be a striking coup for Everton, as Benitez looks to add some strength to his backline.
Everton have had a good start to the season, but they were beaten 3-0 by Aston Villa at the weekend. Michael Keane and Yerry Mina the two starting centre-backs.
The player was a target for Man Utd at the start of the year, according to Il Milanista. United though signed Raphael Varane in the summer.
Mundo Deportivo claimed Spurs were also keen on the Milan man, who has seen his place come under pressure since the arrival of Fikayo Tomori.