Everton star causes big issue after delivering thumbs down to Newcastle move

Rafael Benitez speaking to Everton pair Lucas Digne and Demarai Gray

Everton left-back Lucas Digne is reportedly reluctant to join Newcastle United in the upcoming January transfer window.

The France international has emerged as a potential target for the cash-rich Magpies following his fallout with Toffees boss Rafa Benitez, but is waiting on other potential suitors firming up interest.

PSG, Juventus and Atletico Madrid are among those monitoring the 28-year-old’s developments. But with Everton poised to sign Dynamo Kyiv left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko as a replacement, Digne is expected to move on in the New Year.

The report in the Daily Mail claims that Newcastle have shown significant interest and are ready to splash the cash in January.

Eddie Howe’s men are currently in the relegation zone and new major investment to stay in the Premier League.

However, the report adds that Digne has reservations over joining a team that could end up in the Championship.

Benitez will now have to hope that a deal can be agreed with other suitors. Otherwise, it would mean the Toffees boss having to continually leave it one of his best players – even if the club are still struggling.

Lucas Digne out the door after Everton spat

Lucas Digne seems to be on his way out of Everton as new left back found following spat with manager Rafa Benitez

A return to PSG is said to be Digne’s favoured option. However, that is not a position the French giants are looking to bolster, which could leave the player and Everton in a difficult situation.

Benitez’s men are next in action on Boxing Day at Burnley.

There were some doubts that the festive fixtures programme could be postponed due to Covid. However, the Premier League have decided to continue with the games, for now.

Premier League managers who suffered a Christmas axing: Pellegrini, Warnock and more…

Arsenal urged to snub Everton striker

Meanwhile, former Arsenal striker Alan Smith feels Mikel Arteta should look to sign Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins ahead of Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The Gunners may be in the market for a new hitman. Alexandre Lacazette will be out of contract in the summer and has shown no signs of extending his stay in north London. And, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang currently out of the picture due to disciplinary reasons, Arteta might act in January.

Calvert-Lewin has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates. The 24-year-old bagged 21 goals from 39 appearances in all competitions last term.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin Everton

He has been capped 11 times by England and responded with four goals. Injury has robbed the Toffees of their hitman for most of the current campaign to date.

The Sheffield-born ace has made just three appearances in 2021-2022. And he scored in each match, the last being a 2-0 triumph over Brighton in late August.

Rafa Benitez’s side has suffered in his absence, winning just three top-flight games while he has been sidelined. Reports earlier this week suggested the capital outfit were considering a move for the former Sheffield United star.

But Smith has his doubts over the Goodison man and has urged them to switch focus to the West Midlands.

“I wouldn’t say Calvert-Lewin is an ideal fit for Arsenal,” he told Sky Sports. “In many ways he’s an old-fashioned centre-forward and he loves balls being swung into the box. There’s not many better at getting his head to the ball and attacking it.

“In terms of his movement, maybe Ollie Watkins is a striker I’d have thought Arsenal would look at, but are they looking at him?”

READ MORE: International winger tipped for Prem move with Everton battling West Ham