Everton In Contract Negotiations To Sign Top Class Goalkeeper To Replace Howard

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Everton are believed to be in contract negotiations with a goalkeeper that would improve the first eleven and replace 37-year-old Tim Howard. 

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The keeper in question is Steve Mandanda, who is set to be released by Marseille this summer after refusing to sign a new contract with the French club. After Marseille’s cup final recently Mandanda admitted he is set to leave.

Whoever the new Everton boss is, his priority will be to make the team more solid defensively, and that will involve personnel changes to the back five. Howard has struggled between the sticks this season for Everton and is set to return to the United States after losing his place in the national team. Everton now need to find a new goalkeeper and Mandanda, a free agent, looks to be a good solution.

Mandanda is 31 years old and has plenty of experience at club level, as well as 21 caps for France. This experience could be vital in adjusting to an Everton backline that has lacked leadership this season, despite the presence of Phil Jagielka.

Mandanda is an experienced presence but 6 years younger than Howard who is quite clearly past his best. He will have had to take this decision to leave Marseille seriously after being at the club since 2007. The struggling state of Ligue 1 and Paris Saint Germain’s monopolisation of the league will have surely played a part in Mandanda’s decision for a change of scenery.

He has not had the best season at Marseille, but a new league and new environment may help him rediscover his best form. Despite this, it is almost certain that Mandanda would provide an improvement on Marseille’s current options.

Mandanda was France’s number 1 goalkeeper up until 2009, when Hugo Lloris replaced him. Mandanda has continued in France’s squad since, acting as number 2 to Lloris and he will do so again at Euro 2016 this summer. Everton will need to act fast and try to sign up Mandanda before the start of the European competition this summer, as he is looking to sort out his future before the start of the competition and there are plenty of interested clubs. Before Everton can really make a signing, they need to sort out the managerial situation, with nobody yet succeeding Roberto Martinez at the club. Unal Emery is now thought to be in talks, whilst Frank de Boer has also been linked after leaving Ajax last week.