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Everton must swoop with Milan set to let Ricardo Rodriguez go

Everton are looking for a long-term replacement to Leighton Baines.

Mathew Nash

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It seems as though Ricardo Rodriguez could be on his way out of AC Milan after just one season at the San Siro. According to a report from Calcio News 24 the Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso is not convinced by the Swiss international and is prepared to let him go in the summer. Tutto Mercato Web also reports a similar view. They believe Milan will sign Cristiano Biraghi from Fiorentina this summer to replace the left-back, with Rodriguez a target for Borussia Dortmund.

Rodriguez was signed last summer from VfL Wolfsburg. Rated as one of the best left-backs in the world during his time at the German club, Milan paid a fee in the region of £13 million to bring him to Italy, as reported by the Daily Mail, potentially rising to £15.6 million.

(Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

That was seen as a bargain at the time and, even at a more expensive price, Everton should be taking note.

It seems that after 11 years Everton legend Leighton Baines has decided he will leave Goodison Park this summer. He is said to be keen on a move to MLS and will leave as perhaps one of the club’s greatest ever full-backs.

But his exit leaves a chasm in the left-back position. Everton are believed to be keen in Leeds youngster Tom Pearce, but still need a first-team replacement for the departing England international.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Rodriguez is almost a carbon copy of Baines. A left-back who can do his defensive duties, but also adds an extra dimension in attack.

The Swiss star has an excellent delivery and will chip in with assists in a similar style to Baines. He is also a set-piece specialist, like Baines. Free-kicks and penalties often represent a chance for the 25-year-old to get on the scoresheet.

This season has not been Rodriguez’s best. With just two assists, both coming in the Europa League, the defensive style of Milan’s play has stifled his attacking streak.

But Rodriguez is perhaps a better defender than Baines and would fit into the Premier League with relative ease.

If Everton were looking for a replacement for Baines, then Milan have just handed them the perfect option on a plate if they move fast.

Securing Rodriguez’s signature before the World Cup would be a massive coup for Everton, and perhaps solve the problem of replacing Baines in the long-term.

Croatia

Everton’s reported move for Croatia defender Domagoj Vida would seriously improve defence

The Croatia international would bolster Marco Silva’s options significantly.

Jamie Watts

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The world’s eyes were on Croatia last night, as Zlatko Dalic’s side dismantled Argentina 3-0. And a number of high-profile targets for Premier League clubs were in action. However, it appears Everton have identified a potential target that isn’t one of the household names, in Domagoj Vida, according to reports from Turkish outlet SABAH.

The defender currently plies his trade for Turkish giants Besiktas, having joined from Dynamo Kiev on a free transfer in January. But the 30-year-old has struggled to nail down a regular starting place at Vodafone Park. And Marco Silva could now swoop for his services, as he looks to bolster his defensive options ahead of his first season in-charge at Goodison Park.

The defender’s performance last night suggests he could be a serious coup for Silva if a deal can be completed. Vida partnered Liverpool regular Dejan Lovren at centre-back and managed to keep a star-studded Argentina attack; including the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala quiet for the duration of the game.

Photo: Getty Images

His aggression and determination was evident for all to see, as a string of last-ditch blocks and slide tackles rounded off a brilliant display for Croatia, as they secured a clean-sheet. And the dogged attitude the player showed last night, is what was largely missing from Everton’s rear-guard last term.

Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka are coming to the latter stages of their careers with the Blues, and with the departure of Ramiro Funes Mori yesterday (BBC Sport), a deal for Vida would make perfect sense on Merseyside this summer.

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Everton

Sam Allardyce transfer target Marcelo Brozovic thriving in Russia

Everton tried to sign the Croatian in January but he has since been in fine form.

Mathew Nash

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Croatia may have just sent Argentina packing from the World Cup. The Balkan side produced a ruthless punishment over the South American side, who were inept in their 3-0 defeat. The result was built on a midfield masterclass. The world-class Luka Modric and brilliant Ivan Rakitic had acres of time and space to send Argentina spinning.

But, the anchorman also deserves credit. Marcelo Brozovic, for the second game in a row at the World Cup, was brilliant. The pendulum in the heart of the Croatia clockwork, the Inter Milan star showed just why he became a key player for the Nerazzurri at the back end of last season.

Which is a lot different to January, when it seemed he was Everton bound.

(Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Sam Allardyce pursued the Croatian fervently throughout winter. As summed up by Football Italia the Toffees were one of several teams willing to buy the player, with his time at Inter coming to an end. The Nerazzurri were apparently looking for a fee in the region of €28 million (£24.5 million) for the player.

But no deal ever came to fruition. Now Everton must be wishing that Big Sam and co had pushed the deal over the line.

Everton are said to be on the lookout for class improvements this summer and Brozovic is proving to be just that.

Inter Milan will be ecstatic that they did not end up selling the player. But watching him thrive for Croatia at the World Cup will continue to give Everton fans that feeling of missing out.                       

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Everton

£17.6m on Marco Silva favourite would be waste of Everton’s resources

The Peruvian played under Silva at both Watford and Sporting and is now linked with Everton.

Mathew Nash

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As recently reported in the print edition of Correio da Manha, as relayed by Sports Witness, Everton are believed to be in the hunt for Peruvian winger Andre Carrillo this summer. The Toffees, along with ‘other English sides’ and Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia, are all said to be keen on the player who is valued at around €20 million (£17.6 million).

It all comes after his excellent showing in the World Cup against Denmark recently. Now, with Peru facing France later today, he will again look to impress.

But Everton would be wasting their money at £17.6 million.

(Photo by Matthew Ashton/Getty Images)

Yes, Carrillo is talented. His performance v Denmark was impressive, however, he was up against an out of position left-back in Stryger Larsen and his end product still left much to be desired.

It was a big improvement on his form at Watford. The 27-year-old was erratic for the Hornets, scoring just twice in 30 games and bagging just two assists. Those are not stats consistent with such a financial outlay.

Marco Silva knows the player well. The new Everton boss had him at Sporting and then lured him to Watford last summer.

But, despite his history with the player, Everton should steer well clear this summer.

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