Everton are in the market for defensive reinforcements this summer, with a centre-back high on their list of priorities. According to the Liverpool Echo, Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Shakhtar Donetsk defender, Mykola Matviyenko sit towards the top end of the Toffees list.
James Tarkowski has made himself into a bit of a cult hero at Turf Moor in the past few years, but his time in claret and blue looks to be expiring, with his current contract coming to an end in the summer. The recently announced departure of Sean Dyche will also no doubt influence the defender’s decision, which will become all but guaranteed if Burnely succumb to the drop at the end of the season.
Everton will face stiff competition from Newcastle for Tarkowski’s signature, however, and with finances in full flow in the northeast, one wouldn’t blame Tarkowski for siding with the Magpies. Should this be the case, Everton will likely turn their attention to Ukrainian defender Mykola Matviyenko, who predominantly plays as a centre-half, but can also offer cover at the left-back spot.
Both of these acquisitions will, of course, be heavily dependent on Everton’s league status next season, as well as the club’s handling of finances even if they do stay afloat. Everton’s four-point cushion above the drop looks like it should be enough to distance themselves from the drop going into the closing stages of the season, with last weekend’s victory over Manchester United potentially offering a sway of momentum for Lampard’s side. However, the spend-heavy Toffees will likely have a re-evaluation this summer having punched well below their weight this season if the cost of the squad and wage bill is anything to go by, so if either of these defensive targets are to join in the summer, it will have to be for the right price.