Everton will reportedly have to fork out £20 million to secure the services of Vitaliy Mykolenko, who has emerged as the club’s top January target.
A recent report from Liverpool Echo has offered an update on Everton’s pursuit of Vitaliy Mykolenko. The Dynamo Kyiv left-back is highly rated by Rafael Benitez, who is keen on securing his services in the upcoming January transfer window. However, Dynamo are holding out for a fee of £20 million and are not expected to settle for a loan deal.
Everton should have no issues reaching agreement over personal terms, though, with reports suggesting that the club has already held talks with the Ukrainian defender regarding a January move. In fact, Mykolenko was reportedly in England on Thursday to negotiate a move to Goodison Park.
A product of the Dynamo Kyiv youth academy, Everton consider Mykolenko as one of the most talented young left-backs in Europe. At the age of just 22, the defender has racked up 132 competitive appearances for the club, being an ever-present figure in Dynamo’s defensive unit over the last three seasons.
During his time in Ukraine, the Cherkasy native has made quite an impression with his work ethic and technical prowess. He can operate as a centre-back too, which indicates his versatility in the defensive third of the pitch.
Mykolenko’s performances have not gone unnoticed either, with the left-back being a regular feature in the Ukrainian national team. He has won over 20 caps already and was notably a vital part of his country’s UEFA Euro 2020 campaign in the summer.
The potential arrival of Mykolenko at Everton could raise doubts over the long-term future of Lucas Digne. The Frenchman has recently had a fallout with Rafael Benitez, leading to his ostracism in recent matches. Many believe that the former Barcelona defender could be on his way out of Goodison Park in January, with Chelsea among the clubs reportedly interested in him.
Digne’s departure could actually be central to Everton’s pursuit of Mykolenko, especially with Dynamo holding out for a fee of £20 million. Even if the Frenchman does end up leaving the club, the Toffees are only likely to pay the transfer fee in various different installments, which is practical given the club’s financial situation at the moment.