Everton ‘offered’ ex-Man Utd striker as one of two replacements with Benitez fearing blockbuster Arsenal raid

Everton pair Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison

Everton have been offered former Man Utd forward Alexis Sanchez, with the Chilean one of two players Rafael Benitez is considering signing if Arsenal poach their star man, per a report.

That’s according to the Sun, who reveal Inter Milan have ‘offered’ Everton the chance to sign Sanchez for free. The diminutive forward is an infrequent starter at the San Siro, yet commands one of the highest salaries at the club.

Sanchez has revitalised his career to a degree since moving to Inter from Man Utd on a permanent basis in 2020. However, he could soon be afforded the opportunity to prove the doubters wrong one more time in England.

That scenario has come about after the newspaper revealed Benitez ‘fears’ he may lose one of Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison this month.

The Spanish manager is determined to retain both of their services, but may be fighting a losing battle.

It is the loss of Calvert-Lewin that would hit the hardest, and Arsenal are a genuine threat to pull off the coup.

Calvert-Lewin on three-man striker shortlist

The Athletic’s David Ornstein recently named the Toffees hitman on a three-man list of strikers Arsenal are courting. The others were Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic and Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak.

Vlahovic is reportedly their No1 target amid claims they have already submitted a hefty offer. However, according to Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol, Fiorentina are unlikely to sell the Serbian until next summer at the earliest.

Arsenal’s sole focus in the market could soon shift to securing reinforcements up front.

Folarin Balogun is expected to join Middlesbrough on loan, while Eddie Nketiah is a target for Crystal Palace. Both he and Alexandre Lacazette have entered the last six months of their contracts at the Emirates.

Arsenal submit massive Vlahovic transfer bid to Fiorentina

Dusan Vlahovic looks set for Premier League move but will Arsenal’s bid be enough to bring him to North London

Mikel Arteta has also refused to rule out an exit for Aubameyang who could be sold as early as this month despite being on AFCON duty.

That could all combine to see the Gunners stiffen their resolve over Calvert-Lewin, leaving Everton short of firepower. The Sun do not list what level of fee Calvert-Lewin would command. But given his importance to the club and with a contract running until 2025, he will not come cheap.

The Sun adds that as well as Sanchez, last season’s MLS top scorer is another candidate to fill any potential void at Goodison Park.

New York City’s Valentin Castellanos is the man in question after notching 19 goals in 32 regular season matches. The 23-year-old has already drawn links with West Ham and has a huge admirer in Pep Guardiola.

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Arsenal must ‘break the bank’ for lethal finisher

Meanwhile, Paul Merson has told Arsenal to ‘break the bank’ for a striker who would ‘make them title contenders’.

He wrote in his Daily Star column: “They should be breaking the bank to get Dusan Vlahovic in from Fiorentina in the summer – because he would make them title contenders.

“I’ve heard Arsenal doesn’t interest him right now and I can understand that. But he might change his mind if they finish in the top four and offer him a lorryload of money.

“Arsenal [could] play him every week because Aubameyang will be gone. Lacazette will probably be gone. And so will Eddie Nketiah.

“They will need a goalscorer, and Vlahovic scores goals. He’s also still young so he should get better and you’t not wasting money paying a 29-year-old on the way down.”

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