Everton remain in ‘pole’ position to snap up Juventus defender

Toby Bowles
Demiral Everton

Everton are leading the race to sign Turkish defender Merih Demiral from Juventus, according to reports.

The Toffees’ interest in Demiral can be traced back many months, with former boss Carlo Ancelotti having been a huge admirer.

Following the Italian’s departure, the rumours were widely expected to subside, but that has not been the case, with Corriere Dello Sport claiming Everton remain ‘on pole’ in the race to secure his signature.

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Demiral, however, is ‘waiting’ until this summer’s European Championships have concluded to make a decision on his future. Having conceded the fewest goals of any side in qualification, his Turkey side have been labelled by some as the dark horses of the tournament, meaning a strong series of performances from Demiral would help to attract more suitors.

Likewise, Everton will refrain from making a move immediately, with the hierarchy still undecided on the identity of Ancelotti’s successor.

The Italian’s departure came as a shock to many people, but in Paul Merson’s eyes, the writing had been on the wall for months.

In his column for the Daily Star, he said: “Carlo Ancelotti quitting Everton did not surprise me one bit. He looked like he’d lost interest.

“And he’s not stupid. He would have seen the last few weeks that they are miles away.

“Ancelotti wants to manage a top four club. He would have seen enough to realise that the top four is impossible for Everton right now.

“You can’t have a home record like that and expect to do anything. He takes some blame though. It’s his job to get a tune out of those players. But they need pace. They need two quick wingers.”

Merson feels former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is now the man to take Everton forward.

“Where do they go now? David Moyes has just built a great team at West Ham,” he said.

“If he went back to Everton he’d have to start from scratch again. Surely you see the job out at West Ham don’t you? They’ve just had an unbelievable season.

“Everton should go for Nuno Espirito Santo. He’s got Premier League experience and I’ve always thought he could manage a big club.”