Carlo Ancelotti has said Everton hope to keep Joshua King beyond this season but the final decision rests with the former Bournemouth striker. King signed a short-term contract after opting for Everton over Fulham on deadline day. His new club, however, could end up paying Bournemouth £5m for his brief stay depending on achievements and appearances, with the 29-year-old becoming a free agent in the summer.
Ancelotti, who confirmed Everton were interested in King following Bournemouth’s relegation last season, believes both parties will consider a long-term extension once the campaign is over.
The Everton manager said: “It is down to the player – it is [effectively] a loan and he has time to show his quality. I don’t know what the contract terms are because I wasn’t involved in those discussions, but ohe is a player with quality, a player we like, and the dream for everyone of us is for him to stay with us a long time. And for him also, because he showed a strong desire to come here and that is really important for us. I hope for him and for us that he has a long career with us.”
King has not scored in 12 Championship appearances this season but Ancelotti cited the striker’s ability to play across the front line as key to his appeal. The manager has also told his established forwards, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, they need to improve irrespective of the increased competition.
“The arrival of King makes our squad more competitive and it puts more pressure on our strikers, but this was not the reason why we wanted him,” he said. “We wanted him because he can cover all the positions in front, and we can have more options in front than we had before. The signing of Josh was not to put more pressure on my strikers. They know without his arrival that they have to improve. They know.”
Ancelotti confirmed Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate would return to the starting lineup at Leeds on Wednesday when he expects a reaction to Saturday’s dismal display against Newcastle. “It’s beyond us now,” he said of Everton’s Champions League qualification prospects after the 2-0 home defeat.