Here are your Everton morning headlines for Sunday, 9 August.

Ancelotti urged to sign Ivanovic-type leader

Everton have habitually not looked to sign players aged 30 or over under the transfer leadership of Marcelo Brands, but perhaps there’s a case to break that rule this summer.

Speaking on the Royal Blue podcast, Gavin Buckland and Dave Prentice discuss the merits of Carlo Ancelotti bringing in someone he knows well, who understands his methods and who can be a trusted leader in training and on the pitch for the coming season.

Branislav Ivanovic is mentioned as a player who could have a Richard Gough-like impact on the squad in terms of mentality and leadership, even if their prime playing years are behind them.

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A number of senior Everton players have departed, most notably Leighton Baines who opted to retire this summer, aged 35.

The squad would be strengthened by a dose of experience, particularly provided by someone like Ivanovic who has won plenty of trophies during his career.

Pre-season dates confirmed

Everton will begin pre-season training on Sunday, 16 August at Finch Farm.

That’s assuming all goes well with the planned coronavirus tests, which will take place the Friday beforehand.

The club’s Under-23s, plus Yannick Bolasie, are already in place and undergoing pre-season training ahead of the 2020/21 season, and Ancelotti’s squad will shortly join them.

Ancelotti will then begin plotting an improved campaign, potentially including a few faces he won’t have worked with before as they were out on loan last season, such as Jonjoe Kenny.

It leaves the Blues with four weeks between their first pre-season training session and the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

We ‘signed’ Zaha for Everton…

One of the names linked with Everton this summer is Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

The London club have made it known the winger wants to depart, though it’s unclear at this point exactly how many sides are considering a move for him, or what Palace’s asking price will be.

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Everton bid for him last year but had their offers turned down - so what might happen if they revisited the option to sign him this time around? The ECHO tried to find out by ‘signing’ Zaha for the club using Football Manager to take a look at what would happen.

While Everton’s overall performance didn’t improve dramatically, Zaha himself was a regular for the manager and tallied five goals and six assists in all competitions. He was also in the top three of the entire league for dribbles, playing largely from right wing.

One player for Brands and Ancelotti to consider, perhaps, as they seek a winger in real life this summer.