Premier League • England

Benitez begins life after Brands by placing Everton one step away from major signing

Rafa Benitez Everton

Rafa Benitez has reportedly been given clearance to make his first signing as Everton manager without the say-so of Marcel Brands, following the latter’s departure from his role as director of football at Goodison Park.

The Toffees have been in freefall in recent weeks. The midweek defeat to Liverpool means Everton have lost eight of their last 11 matches. That leaves the Merseysiders just five points clear of the bottom three heading into Monday’s game with Arsenal.

It was due to get worse before it gets better too. Indeed, supporters are planning a protest against Benitez by staging a walk-out in the fixture.

However, Benitez always insisted that he was the man to get Everton out of their crisis.

And, it seems that those in the corridors of power at Goodison Park are fully behind their man. As such, it was confirmed Brands on Sunday night was axed by the Toffees. Indeed, the Dutchman’s £300m spending spree left Benitez with just £1.7m to spend in the summer.

And following his removal, Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri has moved transfer power at Goodison fully over to Benitez.

Now, the Spaniard has sprung to life immediately with his first deal nearing a quick conclusion.

Ramsey deal on cards

As per Tuttosport, via Sport Witness, the Toffees appear to have won the race to sign Aaron Ramsey.

They state Everton have emerged as the leading contenders to sign the Welshman, who will be allowed to leave on a free.

Juventus are reportedly desperate to rid themselves of Ramsey’s huge wages and will allow him to depart without collecting a transfer fee.

Three Premier League clubs chasing Aaron Ramsey

Three Premier League clubs chasing Aaron Ramsey

Everton, West Ham and Newcastle are all reportedly chasing Aaron Ramsey, with more news on Dejan Kusulevski and Matthijs de Ligt.

They write the deal is moving ever closer and now just needs Ramsey’s permission and an agreement with the 30-year-old to go through.

Tuttosport claims Ramsey snubbed approaches from Crystal Palace and Wolves over the summer. However, a move to Merseyside now looks likely with his future very much lying away from Turin.

Ramsey is contracted to Juventus until 2023 and the article claims he will be offered a deal at Goodison until 2024.

Marcel Brands issues Everton exit statement

Despite emerging as Everton’s scapegoat, Brands was allowed a graceful exit at Goodison on Sunday.

And in a statement, Brands spoke of his “honour” at working for Everton.

“On Friday, following a personal conversation with the chairman and my fellow board members, we agreed that I would step down from my post as director of football and as a member of the Everton Football Club Board,” the statement read.

“This decision has taken some time and some consideration and was one of the most difficult I have faced in my career.

“The board and I agreed that there is a clear difference in the vision and direction for this beautiful club and, with that in mind, the decision was taken.

“I want to thank everyone in the club who I have worked closely with over the last three and a half years. There are a lot of talented people at Everton. They have huge passion and commitment to move the club forward, both on and off the pitch.

“I want to wish all of the squad every success. I am convinced that there is enough quality to improve the current situation quickly.

“It has been an honour for me to work at this fantastic club. I wish everyone associated with Everton the very best for the future.”

It seems Brands will not be out of work for long, however. The Daily Mirror claims PSV would like to take him back as managing director. He was previously their director of football for eight years before Everton took him on board.

READ MOREBenitez backs himself to get Everton out of worrying slump