The Times have claimed that Everton are set to complete their first signing of the summer in the form of Marseille teenager Niels Nkounkou on a free transfer – after the versatile youngster rejected a new contract.
Nkounkou, 19, was on the verge of making his Marseille debut after achieving a place on the bench in two senior matches this season. But with the campaign curtailed, his wait for a senior debut will now go on.
A France Under-19 international, Nkounkou is naturally a left-sided defender but can also play in midfield. He has been at Marseille for two years, a club in which Andre Villas-Boas has guided his side into the Champions League.
But with Nkounkou rejecting the chance to remain at Marseille, Everton have swooped and will sign Nkounkou on a free. It is believed he will train with Ancelotti’s senior side, but start in David Unsworth’s Under-23 team.
TBR’s view – Bad news for Baines?
Leighton Baines has been offered a one-year deal by Everton in order to keep the 35-year-old at the club for the 2020-21 season – as cover for France international Lucas Digne. He is yet to put pen to paper.
Now, with Nkounkou set to sign and look at breaking into the first team – Baines will surely decide against signing a new contract with Ancelotti seemingly planning for life without the set-piece specialist.