Everton are facing an uphill battle to keep Director of Football Marcel Brands at the club as Serie A giants AS Roma are reportedly courting his services.

According to Il Tempo (via Sport Witness), the Roma hierarchy are mixing up their internal structures after a change of ownership.

They have been linked with figures such as Leeds United’s Victor Orta before those ran aground. The last target (who has also been rejected) was Lille’s Luis Campos, but the Italian giants are now eyeing the Toffees’ Dutch transfer guru.

Il Tempo (via Sport Witness) indicated that the Serie A club has since hired a firm by the name of Retexo Intelligence to ‘select the most suitable profiles’ for the role, ‘listing their strengths and weaknesses, as well as all their purchases and discoveries of talent’.

The data and research firm was also asked to ‘meet some very specific criteria’ in their search, which is why ‘it’s no coincidence that most of the names released in recent months are young and very close to the world of scouting’.

The new American owners of Roma are reportedly ‘personally taking care’ of the issue, and they are ready to ‘reduce the deadlines’, which is why they have moved away from Campos.

Brands has since emerged as a top target. The Director of Football, who also sits on the Toffees’ board, ‘had established a reputation for developing players and building clubs’ according to his club profile. He had played a key role in identifying and recruiting talent to PSV Eindhoven as they claimed three Eredivisie titles in four seasons.

His talents were also reportedly instrumental in ‘transforming the fortunes’ of Dutch sides RKC Waalwijk and AZ Alkmaar.

Read Everton Verdict

The Toffees cannot afford to lose Brands without securing a replacement.

Summer recruits have been fantastic; new players such as Allan and James Rodriguez featured prominently in the Toffees’ early winning run and is just a sample of how Brands’ work has delivered quality at Goodison Park.

In the long run, the loss of Brands may equate to an inability to attract top-quality players, unless a good replacement can be found.