Mourinho approves mooted Everton transfer as phase one of two-part January plan

Date published: Friday 15th October 2021 1:05 - Steve Pearson

Roma midfielder Gonzalo Villar balancing the ball on his head in 2021

Roma are prepared to sanction the exit of a Spanish international linked with Everton as phase one of a two-part January plan, according to a report.

Everton have made a strong start to life under the guiding hand of Rafael Benitez. The Toffees currently sit fifth in the table, with much of their early season joy owed to the club’s superb summer recruitment.

Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend have gone above and beyond what even the most optimistic Everton fan could’ve hoped for. And with the purse strings unlikely to be loosened in January, Benitez may have to go bargain hunting once more.

A report in late-September highlighted Everton’s interest in Roma midfielder, Gonzalo Villar. The 23-year-old earned his first senior Spain cap this year, though a spate of Covid-related withdrawals did aid his promotion.

Nonetheless, the central midfielder has struggled to break into Jose Mourinho’s starting eleven at Roma. In the current campaign, he has been limited to cup competition outings.

An exit has therefore been mooted, and Goal (citing Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb), provide a promising update from Everton’s perspective.

They state Roma are ‘ready to offload’ Villar in order to help facilitate their own January splash. Mourinho’s primary target is claimed to be Swiss international, Denis Zakaria.

To help fund that move, Roma are open to severing ties with Villar in whatever form a suitor sees fit. Either a loan exit or permanent transfer would reportedly be fine by Mourinho.

Villar would likely struggle to break into Benitez’s first team given the stellar form of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucouré. However, he would undoubtedly provide adequate cover alongside the likes of Tom Davies and Andre Gomes.


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Benitez backed to continue transfer masterclass in January

Rafa Benitez Everton

Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez has been backed to continue his exceptional transfer strategy in January.

A big part of Everton’s early success has been new signings Townsend and Gray. Townsend arrived on a free transfer from Crystal Palace, while Gray cost just £1.6m. Between them they have registered an impressive six goals and three assists in the league.

Hutton reckons Benitez will look for more hidden gems in the January transfer window. His budget remains tight due to Everton’s lavish spending in recent years.

“He’s not done too bad so far [after] his first transfer window,” Hutton told Football Insider. “The boys he’s brought in have been absolutely superb. It is what it is. Sometimes teams are in that market where they can’t spend big.

“Everton, over the past could of seasons, have spent a lot of money. A lot of them haven’t quite worked out. It’ll be a case of see what you can get. If you can bolster the squad with somebody relatively cheaper then no problem.

“They’re going well at the moment. The signings are doing really well, they’ve hit the ground running and I’m sure the fans and Benitez will be really happy so far.”

READ MORE: Everton named in three-way tug of war for exciting France attacker

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