Ancelotti claims Everton are three players away from being top-four contenders

Carlo Ancelotti passionately believes that Everton are just three players away from challenging for the Champions League.

And in a candid interview, the Blues boss revealed that he has been told he will have the backing to bring in the players he wants to turn his side into genuine top four contenders next season.

The Italian returns to his former club Chelsea this weekend, with fond memories of his time at Stamford Bridge and the title success he enjoyed there.

He returns with confidence that he has the foundations at Everton to build a side that can break into the elite of English football – and believes he will get the big budget required to bring in three top class talents in the summer.

“I think the Champions League is a realistic target for Everton next season…yes it’s realistic,” he said.

“We have to improve the squad in the summer, but I do think with that it is realistic. What I am seeing now is the target is realistic.

“Seriously, I am not going to say we have to fight for the Champions League if I don’t feel that we have a possibility to do that, but I think we have the squad we have now, improving it in the summer, we can fight for the top places.

“How many players will it take? I don’t think it is a lot, you have no possibility to change a lot of players. I think it is possible with two or three of the right players we can compete.”

Ancelotti is not talking fringe players though. In his first summer at Chelsea he made high the profile signings of Daniel Sturridge, Nemanja Matic and Yuri Zhirkov, and followed that the next season with huge-money captures like Ramires, Fernando Torres and David Luiz.

Realistically, the quality of player he requires to lift Everton into the top four, to challenge the likes of Chelsea, would cost well in excess of £100m in total. But he explained that in talks with owner Farhad Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright, the desire and ambition is there to do that.

Explaining that he did get guarantees when he joined Everton he said: “Of course (I did). You have to talk with the club and the fact that I spoke with Mr Farhad and Mr Kenwright and Marcel [Brands] underlined that the club has the ambition.

“So it has the ambition and the possibility [because of the funds] so the project was in my opinion clear and so this was the reason why I am here – to try to help the team to what they have in mind [the Champions League].”

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