Carlo Ancelotti Rules out Signing 'Good Friend' Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Everton

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2019

Sweden's biggest football star, Los Angeles Galaxy's forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic,  attends a press conference ahead of the unveiling of a 2,7 m bronze statue of him on October 8, 2019 near the stadium where he made his professional debut in his hometown of Malmo in southern Sweden. (Photo by Johan NILSSON / TT News Agency / AFP) / Sweden OUT (Photo by JOHAN NILSSON/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

New Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but he might give him a call and see if he wants to visit the city. 

The Italian had his introductory press conference on Monday and was asked whether there was the possibility the veteran forward would join, per Greg O'Keeffe of The Athletic:

Greg O'Keeffe @GregOK

Ancelotti: “Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a good friend of mine and I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of good players. I don’t know his plans but I’ll have to call him and see if he wants to come to Liverpool..but not to play!” #zlatan #efc #Ancelotti

The 38-year-old is available on a free transfer after announcing his departure from L.A. Galaxy at the end of the MLS season. He's been linked with a host of clubs since, dropping periodic hints along the way.

Jon Super/Associated Press

He told GQ Italia (h/t Corriere della Sera, via Football Italia) he will return to Italy, but his agent Mino Raiola walked back those comments in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t AS) just days later.

La Reppublica (h/t ASJonathan Meaney) has linked him to the likes of AC Milan, Napoli and Tottenham Hotspur. Ancelotti said the Partenopei were "waiting" for the Swede while he was still in charge of the club.

ESPN FC discussed whether a reunion at Goodison Park would make sense:

The two worked together at Paris Saint-Germain, where the former Sweden international played arguably the best football of his career. The Toffees could use another ace striker to help salvage their season, having scored just 20 Premier League goals so far.

Richarlison (six) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (five) lead the way for Everton, while Bernard (two) is the only other player who has found the net more than once. Those are dreadful numbers and part of the reason the Toffees find themselves just four points above the relegation zone.

Ancelotti has his eye on compatriot Moise Kean as a possible solution, however, and revealed he tried to sign him while at Napoli, per Patrick Boyland of The Athletic:

Patrick Boyland @Paddy_Boyland

CA on Kean: Moise Kean did really well last year. I tried to sign him for Napoli. He is a really good player, with fantastic talent. He is 19 years old and there is an adaptation period. We will work with him to improve."

The 19-year-old arrived amid much fanfare in the summer after a promising spell with Juventus but has failed to catch on in the Premier League so far. He has made just two starts in the league and has yet to score for his new club.

Ancelotti appears to be a fan of the Italian, however, and new opportunities may be about to open up. Kean scored six goals in 13 total appearances in Serie A last season, and he also scored on his two first starts for the national team, against Finland and Liechtenstein.

The new manager also confirmed that former interim boss, Duncan Ferguson, will be staying on with the team after he led Everton to a win and two draws in his three Premier League matches in charge.