Everton could land cheap Gabriel alternative in £13.5m colossus once likened to Vidic – opinion

Everton appear to be in the market for a new central defender this summer and their reported move for Gabriel Magalhaes continues to rumble on, so it’s time to consider a viable alternative…

What’s the word?

According to Italian journalist Ciro Venerato, who appeared on Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli as relayed by CalcioNapoli24, the Toffees have opened negotiations for Carlo Ancelotti’s old centre-back Nikola Maksimovic.

He said: “Ancelotti negotiates not only for Allan but also Maksimović, who is valued at €15m (£13.5m) by the club” and added that there is also interest from AS Roma and Fiorentina.

Whilst their move for Gabriel may have hit a wall with soccer Insider claiming that the club have failed to come to an agreement with Lille for a second time over a transfer fee.

Gabriel alternative?

Despite there being a six-year age gap between Maksimovic and Gabriel, a move for the former wouldn’t be the worst decision to make. The 6 foot 4 colossus has bags of experience in the Italian top-flight, which includes Napoli’s Coppa Italia triumph this season.

The 28-year-old has been likened to fellow countryman, United legend Nemanja Vidic, so that tells you everything you need to know about his playing style – imposing, aggressive and dominant.

Per WhoScored, the centre-back won an average of 2.2 aerial duels per game as well as managing 2.7 clearances, 1.6 tackles and 1.4 interceptions, which only reinforces the comparisons.

Ancelotti knows him very well, of course, having managed him at Napoli and the Serb has even lauded his old boss for giving him a new lease of life, he said:

“It’s good to have the coach’s confidence. Since I came back from my loan spell, I’ve really knuckled down and tried to do my best for the team. We enjoy ourselves with Ancelotti – when we’re on the pitch too. We’re able to express ourselves easily even though we work very hard during the week.”

He might not be the youthful Gabriel, but Maksimovic would be a very decent alternative, especially at just £13.5m – Marcel Brands could bolster other areas with the money saved.

AND in other news, Toffees suffer blow in big-money transfer chase…