sport news Carlo Ancelotti's Everton rebuild is the toughest job of his career so far

When James Rodriguez and Allan arrive at Goodison Park later this week, Carlo Ancelotti could be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief. 

As well as a sizeable salary, it was Everton's ambition - and the promise of funds to reinvigorate a tired squad this summer - which convinced the legendary Italian to make a surprise move to Merseyside in December of last year.

But after spending just £750,000 on a 17-year-old from League Two in January, and having added one free transfer since last season finished, there is every chance Ancelotti may have been a little concerned with the new campaign fast approaching.

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti gestures during his side's 3-3 pre-season draw with Blackpool

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti gestures during his side's 3-3 pre-season draw with Blackpool

The Toffees undoubtedly improved under the former AC Milan manager's leadership during the second half of last term, but a worrying dip in performances and results during Project Restart highlighted what a huge job he still has on his hands.

The signings of Rodriguez and Allan - two players Ancelotti knows and trusts after working with them previously - will give him a huge boost ahead of the first game against Tottenham next weekend.

However, a vast amount of work still needs to be done on the squad if Everton are to finally start giving owner Farhad Moshiri a reasonable return on his investment. 

Here, Sportsmail takes a closer look at the other areas Ancelotti must fix to mount a challenge for European football - and a well overdue trophy - next season. 

Captain Seamus Coleman (left) speaks to Tom Davies and Mason Holgate at Bloomfield Road

Captain Seamus Coleman (left) speaks to Tom Davies and Mason Holgate at Bloomfield Road

GETTING RID OF THE DEADWOOD 

Arguably the biggest task at Everton this summer is shifting the players that Ancelotti doesn't fancy, all of whom are putting pressure on an already-stretched wage budget.

Yannick Bolasie, Muhamed Besic, Sandro Ramirez and Cenk Tosun earn upwards of £250,000 a week between them, yet appear to have no future at the club.

All four have been shipped out on loan in recent seasons, but a mixture of average displays, injuries and the players themselves deciding not to accept a pay cut elsewhere has scuppered Everton's chances of finding them new, permanent homes.

Yannick Bolasie is one of a number of big earners Everton are willing to sell this summer

Yannick Bolasie is one of a number of big earners Everton are willing to sell this summer

The club's director of football, Marcel Brands, is the man tasked with moving these four - and anyone else Ancelotti doesn't want - on before the transfer window closes, but at present that is proving difficult.

Given the millions wasted by previous bosses, particularly Ronald Koeman (with the help of Steve Walsh) and Sam Allardyce, plus the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Ancelotti is unlikely to get such a big kitty and some of Everton's business will be reliant on how much money Brands can free-up.

Thirteen players have already left Goodison - 12 of those permanently - this summer, but that number only looks set to increase, with Ancelotti also open to selling regular starters in order to build his own squad.

SORTING CENTRAL MIDFIELD

Of Everton's problem positions, nothing comes close to the central midfield issue which emerged last season and seemed to get worse with every passing week.

With £25m summer signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin missing virtually the entire campaign through injury and fellow new boy Fabian Delph also struggling for fitness and form, the Blues were robbed of a ball-winner for much of the campaign.

Tom Davies' development continued to stall, while Andre Gomes played too many games after a horrific ankle injury and looked far from his best without a defensive-minded partner next to him.

Everton have agreed a deal for Napoli midfielder Allan and he is expected to join this week

Everton have agreed a deal for Napoli midfielder Allan and he is expected to join this week

Gylfi Sigurdsson was often played out of position and was found wanting most weeks, with Mason Holgate - the team's standout central defender - impressing after being moved further forward.

It's no wonder Ancelotti made landing Allan, a tough-tackling, energetic central

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