Forget Silva: Everton swoop for “competitive animal” would be shades of Sylvain Distin – opinion

Everton appear to be closing in on their first move of the summer transfer window and whilst it’ll raise a few eyebrows, it certainly shouldn’t be frowned upon.

What’s the word?

According to Novosti, Carlo Ancelotti is in talks to bring his former Chelsea powerhouse, Branislav Ivanovic, back to the Premier League for another spell under the Italian.

The 36-year-old has been playing for Zenit St Petersburg since 2017 after nine years in west London where he won three PL titles, a Champions League as well as being named in the PFA Team of the Year on two occasions.

Discussions with Ivanovic are said to be in the ‘final stage’ with the veteran Serb free to join who he pleases this summer following the expiry of his contract.

Ancelotti sees the 6 foot 1 enforcer as a potential pillar of his defence and given the Toffees have young duo Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite, it could be a smart move indeed.

Shades of Distin

Everton have been linked to PSG legend Thiago Silva, who is of similar age, but as the illustrious Brazillian would come at a hefty premium – he’s been on around £340k-per-week in France – it would be a financial disaster.

Instead, raiding Ivanovic on a free transfer would be cunning from Ancelotti, so much so that it would feel similar to when the Merseysiders welcomed Sylvain Distin to Goodison Park.

Despite his advancing years, Moyes brought in the uncapped Frenchman to ‘keep us steady’ yet he stayed for five years and was colossal in the heart of the defence.

Comments from Jose Mourinho sum up what the Toffees would be getting, the former Chelsea boss labelled Ivanovic a “competitive animal with a big heart” whilst City superstar Raheem Sterling dubbed him the scariest opponent he’s faced back in 2013 before dubbing him a “tank”.

At 36, he’ll have to be managed in terms of fitness, but don’t underestimate his likely impact given the trophy-laden career he’s enjoyed and the potential long-term impact he could have on those around him.

For a season or two, this makes complete sense.

AND in other news, Everton can land huge Iwobi upgrade in “phenomenal” PL target…