Premier League • England

Italian reports claim Dyche is close to first Everton signing with £17.6m transfer agreement imminent

Udinese's Rodrigo Becao controls the ball during the Serie A soccer match between Sampdoria and Udinese at the Luigi Ferraris stadium, in Genoa, Italy

Everton manager Sean Dyche is reportedly closing on his first signing for the club with a deal for a Udinese defender seemingly close for the Toffees.

Dyche was left frustrated after failing to add to his squad during the January transfer window. Having seen Anthony Gordon depart in the days prior to his arrival, Dyche was right to expect reinforcements to arrive. Sadly for him, and Everton, they missed out on a number of deals during the month, with perhaps the miss of Arnaut Danjuma the most notable.

Another player who Everton and Dyche tracked was Udinese defender Rodrigo Becao. Having locked on to him during Frank Lampard’s time in charge, Dyche was quickly made aware of Everton’s prospects of signing the Brazilian.

And liking what he saw, Dyche reportedly instructed Everton to try and push through his signing.

However, much to his annoyance, Udinese resisted all Everton offered for him.

That said, their interest has seemingly not gone away and now reports in Italy claim a deal for Becao is gathering pace.

Indeed, the centre-half’s deal expires in summer 2024 and talks over an extension have seemingly hit a dead end.

As a result, the Serie A side’s sporting director Pierpaolo Marino admitted last month that his side may not be able to retain his services beyond this season.

“We want to return to amaze as we did at the beginning of the season. We have every intention of making the most of the work done in setting up this team,” he told Rai Sport.

READ MOREMan Utd to benefit from huge Everton transfer failure as Ten Hag learns offer needed to sign Eredivise ‘gem’

Everton closing in on Becao agreement

“It is clear that for Becao and especially Beto the club – and we thank you for this – has renounced a huge offer that arrived in the last days of January to keep him here. But it will be difficult to do so in view of next season. Even if in the end someone like [Rodrigo] De Paul stayed longer than expected due to the requests he had, he made two renewals.”

Now, according to Mondo Udinese, a deal is close to being reached with Everton over the player’s transfer.

They write that there is a growing acceptance that the 27-year-old defender will move on. And with Udinese seeking a fee in the region of £17.6m (€20m), Everton are emerging as favourites to strike an agreement.

They do, however, face competition from Inter Milan, though the Nerazzurri reportedly have other priorities before the Brazilian.

And any Everton arrangement will be subject to two conditions; the first of which being Everton retaining their Premier League status.

As it stands, Everton are currently 15th in the table, though only sit a point above the drop zone. They have also played a game more than their rivals in and around them.

However, the report suggests that Everton’s survival will likely see a move for Becao go through. And while Everton may try and reduce Udinese’s asking price a little further, it is not likely to prevent Dyche landing his man.

His signing could be the first of a busy summer for Dyche and Everton at Goodison Park. For now, though, the focus remains entirely on ensuring survival in the Premier League.

The Toffees are about to embark on a tricky run with fixtures against Chelsea (a), Tottenham (h), Man Utd (a) and Fulham (h).

READ MOREEverton chasing in-demand Serie A midfielder; as Dyche looks to axe seven players in major summer clear-out