Despite the fact that Everton had an extremely busy summer transfer window, bringing nine new additions into Goodison Park, there was still a lingering feeling of dissatisfaction after the deadline.
The lack of a proven replacement for the outgoing Romelu Lukaku is perhaps the main concern heading back to Premier League football but boss Ronald Koeman also missed out on a defender.
The Daily Mail believe that the Dutchman is already preparing himself for a January raid for experienced Porto defender Ivan Marcano as he searches to add strength in depth to his back-line.
Who is Ivan Marcano?
Born in the Spanish region of Santander in 1987 Marcano was only ten years old when he was snapped up by the Racing Santander youth system, working his way up through the age groups.
After a two-year spell at Racing’s ‘B’ team he was awarded the step-up to the first-team in 2007, making his debut against Almeria – although it didn’t go to plan as he side-lined himself for months.
He played a starring role the following season though, becoming Racing Santander’s preferred left-back option, and his impressive displays caught the attention of prestigious La Liga outfit Villarreal.
It didn’t quite go to plan after this move, however, finding himself falling down the pecking order before eventually being sent out on-loan to fellow Spanish side Getafe and Greek side Olympiakos in consecutive seasons, before finally being off-loaded for good and moving to Russia’s Rubin Kazan.
A moderately successful two-year stint followed before he made the definitive switch to FC Porto back in 2014, replacing Manchester City-bound Eliaquim Mangala, and he’s featured 93 times since.
What could he bring to Goodison Park?
Whilst it’s highly unlikely that boss Koeman considers the 30-year-old Spanish defender as an immediate first-team player, the wealth of experience that Marcano can bring will be highly useful.
With Phil Jagielka’s performances inconsistent at best and Ramiro Funes-Mori suffering from a long-term knee injury there’s a need for additional personnel, especially with the Europa League in mind.
His experience of the Champions League with Porto could prove priceless should Everton manage to negotiate their way out of a tricky group, and his presence off the pitch could be as vital as his presence on it.
The versatility of Marcano will also be something that has particularly turned the Everton manager’s head, with his ability to play as a left-back or a left-sided central defender a catalyst for his interest.
And it’s more than likely that the Spaniard would slot in and do a good job too, making a name for himself over in Portugal with his disciplined approach at the back and his ability to communicate well with his fellow defenders, keeping things tight and compact and stifling the opposition’s attacks.
He is strong in the air – making him perfect adept for the competitive and physical nature of the Premier League – and he’s handy at the other end as well, scoring six times in three years at Porto.
How likely is a move?
The report claims that Everton sent representatives from the club to watch Marcano in action last month prior to making an enquiry to the Portuguese side, only to be priced out of a summer move.
But it is understood that Porto are willing to listen to offers from January onwards, with Marcano out of a contract next summer, and they could be more willing to negotiate the closer this comes.
At 30 years of age he is not unreplaceable and, as long as Everton can come in with the right offer to tempt Porto into a sale, then there’s no reason as to why a move couldn’t be completed in January.