Allan and Doucouré prioritised.

Jarrad Branthwaite at centre back, helps Carlo Ancelotti prioritise Allan and Doucouré as potential midfield signings.

Everton’s transfer business in this window is going to be a drawn out affair. Completing the signings of midfield duo Allan and Doucouré are key to Ancelotti’s plans.

Priorities have been reassessed. After long months of wooing the Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhães.  It looks like Gabriel will now sign for Arsenal.  Everton’s confidence in Jarrad Branthwaite and Lewis Gibson. Have led Marcel Brands and Carlo Ancelotti to see the Everton midfield as the key area for change before the new campaign.

Everton will start the season, with Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Jarrad Branthwaite, as the four designated centre back options. Lewis Gibson looks likely to go out on loan. Branthwaite’s performances in the first team, have solidified his position in Ancelotti’s plans. Accounting for the cooling off, in the pursuit of Gabriel Magalhães

Midfield wish list

Carlo Ancelotti has made it clear that he requires more energy and drive in the Everton midfield. French midfielder Abdoulaye Doucouré, who at 27, would suit Ancelotti’s preferred 4-4-2 formation. Is a box to box player with all the energy and drive that the manager is looking for.

Doucouré can also add goals, which have been sorely missing from midfield in recent times.  He is a proven Premier League performer, though at 27 the fee for Doucouré will mean that Marcel Brands will be working hard behind the scenes to find clubs interested in players such as Sigurdsson and Davies.

The books will have to be balanced. Sigurdsson is under threat of being moved on. Fabian Delph considered more as cover for the left back position.

Ancelotti may insist on two new midfielders.

Everton are reported to be close to agreeing terms with Napoli for the Brazilian midfielder Allan. There must have been deep discussions between Marcel Brands and Carlo Ancelotti, about paying in the region of £30 million for a player who turns 30 in five months time.

It will be interesting to see if Allan (29) and Doucouré (27) are the pieces in the puzzle that Ancelotti is looking for.

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