Premier League • England

Benitez makes plea to Farhad Moshiri amid talk that top Everton star could be sold

Dominic Calvert-Lewin Everton

Everton boss Rafa Benitez has warned Farhad Moshiri the Toffees must learn to be smarter with their finances and may need to follow the model of other clubs in selling their top stars to improve their squad.

The Toffees are struggling this season under Benitez and face a crucial Merseyside derby against Liverpool on Wednesday. A defeat for Everton would make it six defeats in seven and pile the pressure further on Benitez. Indeed, reports suggest the Everton board already have their sights set on a respected replacement.

Benitez though refuses to lay down without a fight. After a battling spell in charge at Newcastle, he’s used to working under difficult conditions.

And having been allowed to spend just £1.7m in the summer window, talk is growing that one of their big names may depart. Indeed, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is being tipped to move on, with the England striker likely to command a huge fee.

Indeed, Benitez, knows all too well that Everton may need to sell his best players to improve his squad. That’s a method adopted by the likes of Leicester over the years. And Benitez claims chairman Moshiri may need to be equally as smart.

“It means we have to get the best from our players from now till the end but at the same time thinking about the long-term future,” he said.

“It is important to do the right thing at the right time.

“If not, you can’t allow to spend money every year so you have to manage [that].

Selling at the right time important

“Some clubs have been selling players at the right time and with the money they received they improved the squad.

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“That is something we have to learn.

“The owner, Mr Moshiri, is ready to spend money but we can’t spend all the time without bringing money back in.

“So I think we have to be clever in the future but at the moment, at this time, we have to make sure we can bring the best out of our players.”

Benitez calls for Everton fight

With Everton being sucked into a battle at the wrong end of the table, Benitez demands his players show their teeth in the Merseyside derby.

Benitez said: “It’s a massive game for us, the derby is always an opportunity to put things right.

“Obviously I know what the derby means for everyone. I’m excited because I want to do well.”

On how his team can overcome Liverpool, Benitez said: “We have to stay focused, go back to the principle of defending as a unit. After, we try to play the best way possible on the ball. If we have to play counter-attack then do it.

“I have the opportunity to talk to the group and some individuals, to make sure they don’t give up.

“You could see the players working hard even when conceding and I think the fans appreciate that.”

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