Benitez ‘lure’ tipped to seal Everton raid with ‘furious’ Barcelona all ears

Steve Pearson
Barcelona trio Antoine Griezmann, Gerard Piue and Samuel Umtiti walking

The lure of working with Rafael Benitez could help Everton succeed in pulling off a Barcelona raid after making first contact, per multiple reports.

Everton have kept their power relatively dry so far this summer. Asmir Begovic and Andros Townsend both arrived for free. The only new face to command a transfer fee was Demarai Gray. The ex-Leicester and Bayer Leverkusen winger set the Toffees back £1.7m.

As such, common sense would suggest Everton could yet spring into action with a significant deal in the latter stages of the window.

And per the Express (via SportLens), that is exactly what they envision after they made an enquiry about Barcelona centre-half, Samuel Umtiti.

Barcelona’s dire financial situation has been laid bare for all to see in recent weeks. Club president Joan Laporta’s latest address revealed their debt has risen to a whopping £1.15 billion.

As such, the bulk of their current squad are available for transfer this summer as they seek to wrest their enormous wage bill under control.

27-year-old Umtiti is one such player they are keen to move on. They are so determined to shift Umtiti, in fact, that Spanish outlet Sport claims they are ‘furious’ at his reluctance to leave thus far.

Clement Lenglet Samuel Umtiti TEAMtalk

That has led to talk of terminating his contract – something they already pursued with Matheus Fernandes in June.

Tottenham are also believed to be in the mix, though the Mirror (via HITC), note Everton could hold an advantage. They claim ‘the pull of playing for Benitez could lure him to Merseyside.’

The size of fee Barcelona are seeking is not mentioned across any article. Though given their determination to shift the player, they would likely accept a knock-down fee.

The biggest obstacle to a deal would undoubtedly be Umtiti’s high salary. A significant wage cut would likely be required if he were to move on permanently from Barcelona.

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Everton told price of sanctioning Benitez reunion

Meanwhile, Everton have been told the price they must pay if they want to complete a deal to sign Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff this summer.

The Toffees have been linked with a move for the 23-year-old for some time. Goodison Park chief Benitez has already signed one of his old charges when Andros Townsend joined on a free transfer.

And reports claim the Spanish tactician is hoping to go down that route once again with a move for Longstaff.

Benitez knows what the youngster can do having worked with him on Tyneside. And the Merseysiders have been informed they will need to fork out £10m to get a deal done, according to The Mail.

He is due to fall out of contract next summer, putting any buying club in pole position. It’s unknown if Everton are prepared to pay that sum but they have spent very little this summer to date.

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