Everton have been linked with a move for the Cameroonian centre-back.
The fans at Goodison Park have had to endure a mixed season, but if the rumours, via the Daily Mail, linking them with a move for Olympique de Marseille’s Nicolas N’Koulou are true, then Everton could be looking higher than a mid-table finish next season.
Apparently Roberto Martinez was in the south of France last weekend to run the rule over the Cameroonian centre-back. Marseille came from behind to beat Monaco 2-1 in a crucial game in the hunt for Champions League football.
However, even if the Everton boss is interested, there is no guarantee that N’Koulou will leave this summer. He has one year left on his contract, but after the game on Sunday he made it clear he is in no hurry to leave:
"No decision has been taken. It will depend on many things. I have my share of responsibility, but it will bring everything you need. But, I never wanted to leave! I'm under contract and take things as they come," he told local paper La Provence.
The decision might not be up to N’Koulou, though. If Marseille want to bring in a number of players this summer, they need cash and players off the wage bill. The 25-year-old is not only one of OM’s best players, he is one of the highest earners.
Over the past four seasons, N’Koulou has, like Marseille, had his ups and downs, but when he has been at his best, he is one of the finest defenders in Ligue 1.
Superb in the air, and always up for the physical battle, he is a great one-on-one defender.
According to France Football, N’Koulou makes €200,000 gross, which puts him outside their new wage budget structure. It seems like a bid of €5 million would be enough to secure a deal this summer.
All Everton would need to do then, is convince N’Koulou to make the move. Beside the likes of Phil Jagielka and John Stones, it would be the base for a fantastic defence.
N’Koulou has international experience and has played in the Champions League. It would be the perfect summer move for the Toffees and one that they should not pass up.