Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has told the Liverpool Echo that Mason Holgate could be back sooner than expected – and refused to comment on Fikayo Tomori.

The Toffees knocked Salford City out of the Carabao Cup with a 3-0 home win on Wednesday night, as Michael Keane, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Moise Kean all scored.

It wasn’t all good news for Everton though, as centre back Jarrad Branthwaite was substituted with an injury after just 24 minutes.

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Everton are now waiting to hear how long the 18-year-old will be out for, which is the latest blow for Ancelotti’s defence.

Mason Holgate is currently out injured, meaning that Yerry Mina and Michael Keane are the only recognised centre backs at Ancelotti’s disposal.

Last week, ESPN reported that Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori was close to joining Everton on a season-long loan deal, with talks described as ‘advanced’ for the 22-year-old.

No deal has been done yet, and whilst Ancelotti believes Everton ‘have to’ find a new centre back, he wouldn’t talk about Tomori.

Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Ancelotti did though add that Holgate could be back sooner than hoped, which is at least a defensive boost for Everton.

“There is a possibility to find a centre-back and I think we have to do so,” said Ancelotti. “I am not talking about players that are not here.”

“The Holgate update is that he doesn’t need the surgery so maybe he can recover earlier than normal but I think we can manage until Mason comes back with three [senior] centre-backs no problemm,” he added.

Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

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