Colombian broadcaster Antena2 have claimed that Everton are interested in signing Atletico Madrid defender Santiago Arias but face competition from Inter Milan and Antonio Conte this summer.
Arias, 28, was signed by Everton director Marcel Brands in the summer of 2013 for PSV Eindhoven and went on to play 172 times for the Dutch club – helping them win the Eredivisie three times in five seasons.
Repeatedly linked with a move to the Premier League, Diego Simeone’s Atletico finally stumped up £11million (Echo) to land the 53-time Colombia international. But it has hardly been a success in Spain.
Arias has managed just 11 outings since Simeone bought Kieran Trippier to Spain from Tottenham last summer, limiting Arias to third-choice right-back behind Sime Vrsaljko and the England international. A summer exit is likely.
TBR’s view – Do Everton need a new right-back?
Seamus Coleman remains at the club, while Jonjoe Kenny is shining on loan at Schalke. The Toffees also have the option to buy Djibril Sidibe on a permanent basis, as the France international continues to impress on occasion at Goodison Park.
Brands was quoted in 2015 by PSV’s official website as saying: “He is the perfect model of the modern defender: pacy, powerful and attack-minded. There are not many players with such qualities.”
Arias is a top, top player. But if Everton are to land the South American flyer, they would surely need to sell either Kenny or Coleman – and forget about a permanent deal for Sidibe. A right-back is hardly a priority for the Toffees.