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Ancelotti steers around James & Rabiot transfer talk as Everton focus on derby date with Liverpool

1:03 PM WAT 03/01/2020
James Rodriguez Colombia 2019
The new Toffees boss admits that he will be looking to bolster his ranks in January, but is reluctant to be drawn on the identity of potential targets

New Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti is giving little away when it comes to reported interest in the likes of James Rodriguez, Adrien Rabiot and Steven Nzonzi.

The Italian is expected to be busy in January after inheriting a squad from Marco Silva.

It has been suggested that he could look to Europe for new recruits, with there money to spend at Goodison Park.

Raids on Real Madrid, Juventus and Roma have been mooted, with midfield an area in obvious need of reinforcement.

Ancelotti, though, is keeping his cards close to his chest as an FA Cup third-round clash with rivals Liverpool is of more pressing concern at present.

He told reporters when asked about links to James, Rabiot and Nzonzi: “I didn't think about this until now. We are going to think about it in the next few days.

“Before that I want to check all the players that I have here. That is normal, we don't have a lot of time because we have a lot of games but I have an idea and every day I can get to know my players better.

“After that if there is any possibility the club is happy to try if possible to improve the squad."

He added: “I know that in your job you want me to talk about the transfer market but honestly I would like to talk about the game and the derby – the fantastic challenge that we have, the fantastic opportunity.

“It would be a risk, they are the best team in this moment, they are world champions.

“Congratulations to them but for us it is a fantastic challenge. We have to be focused there, we don't want to waste time talking about the transfer market because in this moment I want to put all my energy into explaining to the players which kind of game we want to play.”

The fixture with Liverpool will be Ancelotti’s fourth match since taking over, with the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss opening his reign on Merseyside with two wins and a defeat in the Premier League.