Everton change conditions as Chelsea transfer tug-of-war emerges

Rafael Benitez speaking to Everton pair Lucas Digne and Demarai Gray

Everton defender Lucas Digne is at the centre of a tug of war between Inter Milan and Chelsea, according to reports.

Digne has fallen out of favour at Goodison park under Rafa Benitez. The 28-year-old skippered Everton earlier in the season, but he has found himself frozen out in recent weeks. He was dropped against Arsenal and has not been able to get back into Benitez’s thinking since.

“What he has to do is ensure he continues working hard and the team is ahead of any individual,” said Benitez recently.

“It is clear, the manager decides. He has been training. It is a normal situation with the player training and we will see if he is available or not.”

Digne’s absence has meant that a number of teams have registered in an interest in the full-back. None more so than Chelsea.

Thomas Tuchel has been hit by the news that Ben Chilwell will miss the rest of the season through injury. That leaves Marcos Alonso as his cover at left-back and so the Blues could address that next month.

And Sky Italia have reported the Blues are following Digne with “great interest”.

A deal though will not be straight forward due to interest in the player from Italy.

Inter Milan, Napoli and Juventus have all been linked with the former Barcelona man. Although Inter have emerged as the player’s main suitors.

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Gazzetta Dello Sport claimed on Tuesday that an approach for Digne had been lodged “in the last few hours”.

Inter were pursuing a loan deal, but it was claimed Everton wanted an obligatory purchase clause in any deal.

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Everton change Digne conditions

Now though the same publication, via Sport Witness, report “the conditions for the deal to go through are now known: loan with the right of redemption, without obligation”.


Thus, Everton are happy to offload Digne on loan with an option to buy for Inter, rather than an obligation to buy.

Inter are said to be keen and Digne is “in pole position” on their list of targets following “direct contact” between the two sides.

Digne is apparently happy with the idea of going to Milan, having “expressed his appreciation for the destination”.

But Chelsea’s interest has muddied the waters. Gazzetta have acknowledged Chelsea’s interest in the player, describing it as a potential “important obstacle”.

Just where Chelsea sit with regards to Digne is unclear, but Sky Italia suggest Tuchel is keen on a deal.

It may well come down to the desire of the player. Will he like to continue in the Premier League or make the switch to Italy.

READ MORE: Benitez tipped to raid Chelsea but Everton face competition for Goodison old boy