Everton are in the race for Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly as manager Carlo Ancelotti gets to work at Goodison Park.
Ancelotti takes charge of his first match as Toffees boss on Boxing Day against Burnley.
But he’s already been busy behind the scenes by making enquiries about a transfer for defensive rock Koulibaly.
The giant Senegal international is rated as one of the best centre-backs in European football and has been heavily linked with Manchester United for years.
United have also sounded out Napoli about a potential deal for Koulibaly, but it’s Everton, now managed by former Napoli boss Ancelotti, who are setting the pace in the race to land him next month.
Host Ian McGarry said on the latest episode of Reach plc’s Transfer Window Podcast: “It’s my information that Koulibaly has informed Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis of his desire to leave the club in January.
“This has been an ongoing situation, but with the departure of Ancelotti, who he was very close to, has brought the issue to a head.
“Koulibaly is now seeking a move away from Serie A. This has begun an option process led by Carlo Ancelotti at Everton who sees weaknesses in the Everton back line.
“But probably just as interesting, especially given their current form at the back, is Manchester United have made contact with Napoli regarding Koulibaly and the price Napoli are asking.
“This tells us two things. One; Manchester United have decided finally that Lindelof and Maguire are not as dependable as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would prefer.
“I think we saw that in the Watford game at the weekend, when Maguire was beaten once again in an aerial challenge which led to the first goal.
“Interesting, also, that Koulibaly’s valuation is in excess of €65 million [£55m].
“It would be a substantial investment for either of the north west clubs to make that bid and satisfy De Laurentiis, who we know does not sell cheap.”