Carlo Ancelotti dismissed speculation linking Mason Holgate with a move to Manchester City, insisting there is “zero possibility” the defender will be allowed to leave Goodison Park this summer.
Speculation surfaced this week that the Premier League champions are considering a move for Holgate at the end of the season, Pep Guardiola keen to reinforce his depleted defensive options after being forced to utilise midfielder Fernandinho as an auxiliary central defender for much of the campaign.
Holgate returned from a loan spell in the Championship at West Bromwich Albion last season to cement himself as a key figure in the Everton side this term, and his performances have not gone unnoticed by Guardiola’s recruitment staff.
Despite the reports, however, Ancelotti insists the 23-year-old is a key part of his plans and has ruled out any possibility of the defender leaving the club this summer.
“It is a rumour,” said the Italian. “I can say Mason Holgate is an important part of the future of Everton and there is no possibility he can go to another club. Zero possibility.”
Everton host Manchester United this weekend looking to bounce back from last Sunday’s defeat at Arsenal, the Merseyside club currently sitting 11th in the Premier League and five points adrift of the European places.
Theo Walcott could return after recovering from a knee injury, whilst Lucas Digne will face a late fitness test as he continues his rehabilitation from a calf problem.