Have Everton finally found their John Stones successor at Roma?
Everton are looking to steal a march on their Premier League rivals with a move for Roma defender Kostas Manolas.
Toffees boss Ronald Koeman is believed to be a fan of the 25-year-old, and Everton could use some younger legs at the back.
Current defensive duo Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka are 32 and 34 respectively.
While Jagielka has been a key part of Everton’s defence for years, Williams’ arrival from Swansea was a temporary measure following John Stones’ move to Man City.
Manolas has played a key role for the Romans this season, and they sit second in Serie A.
It seems unlikely that the Toffees will make much headway in January, but a summer move is on the cards, according to reports in Italy.
The Greece international has been linked with a number of Premier League outfits over the last 18 months.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have been touted as potential destinations.
But with the Red Devils looking to land Benfica’s Victor Lindelof, it seems only the London duo could now stand in Everton’s way.
Manolas began his career with his native Thrasyvoulous, before quickly bagging a move to Greek giants AEK Athens in 2009.
The step up in quality proved no obstacle, and three impressive years with the capital club landed the Greek Cup in 2011.
Olympiakos came calling in 2012, with Manolas moving on a free at the end of his AEK contract.
Though he only spent two campaigns with the Greek heavyweights, that short spell still yielded a pair of Superleague titles and another Greek Cup.
That was enough to persuade Roma to part ways with over £10m for Manolas’ services in the summer of 2014.
And the centre-half has adapted admirably to the step-up in quality in Italy, becoming a first-team regular since moving to the capital.
Valued at just under £24m and with a contract running until 2019, Everton would have to spend big to land the talented defender.
The Toffees didn’t have enough time to find a suitable successor to Stones last summer, but now it appears as though Koeman has found his man.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing