Rafa Benitez wants to bring surprise striker target to Everton

Everton boss Rafael Benitez clapping the fans after beating Southampton at Goodison Park

Everton boss Rafa Benitez reportedly wants to sign Brighton striker Neal Maupay to Goodison Park before the transfer window closes.

Sky Sports claimed on their Transfer Centre on Thursday that Financial Fair Play rules are still holding the Toffees back this summer, with Marcel Brands still hoping to sell Fabian Delph, Cenk Tosun, Moise Kean, Jonjo Kenny, Mason Holgate and Jasrrad Branthwaite.

And it’s understood that with some of those names offloaded then Brands can swoop for Maupay and Burnley attacker Dwight McNeil.

Maupay, 25, is a different kind of striker to Everton front pairing Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison and would offer more pace in behind opposing defences.

The Frenchman has netted twice in as many games as the Seagulls sit fourth in the Premier League table after two wins.

Benitez is said to want another striker on board before the window shuts on Tuesday night. That is even more apparent given PSG’s links to Richarlison, if Kylian Mbappe is sold to Real Madrid.

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The main issue would come down to Maupay himself, knowing that he is unlikely to be first-choice.

The former Brentford frontman is guaranteed a starting spot at The Amex, despite not always figuring in Graham Potter’s plans.

Maupay has scored 20 goals in 76 games for the Seagulls in all competitions. He’s also netted 83 times in 287 senior career appearances.

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Everton join race for Juve star

Meanwhile, Everton have joined the race for a midfielder who is now being looked at by a number of Premier League sides, according to a report.

The man they are said to be in the running for is Weston McKennie. The Juventus player only made the switch from Schalke last summer but is already up for sale. He was used occasionally by Andrea Pirlo who was sacked at the end of the campaign.

Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie challenges Borja Mayoral of Roma, February 2021

New manager Massimiliano Allegri has come in and determined he is not his sort of player. As such, he would like him to be replaced.

Tuttosport are reporting the Old Lady are in discussion with several top-flight English sides as they look to fulfil Allegri’s wishes.

Tottenham have been most strongly linked to McKennie in previous reports. A swap deal with the out of favour Tanguy Ndombele has been touted.

But Juventus are reportedly in talks with the Toffees too. The absence of playmaker James Rodriguez is a potential factor behind this.

And McKennie is a useful midfield option thanks to his versatility. He can play on either flank but is most at home in the centre of the park.

Everton are joined by two further teams, though. These are Aston Villa and West Ham.

READ MORE: Benitez sends message to Moise Kean after red card in Carabao Cup win