Everton boss Rafa Benitez closing in on bargain double deal for exciting wingers

Date published: Monday 19th July 2021 9:44 - Matthew Briggs

Demarai Gray Bayer Leverkusen TEAMtalk

Everton are close to completing an double deal for two exciting wingers, according to a number of well-placed sources.

Rafa Benitez has also landed a back-up goalkeeper for England’s Jordan Pickford.

Former Stoke stopper Asmir Begovic has already signed for the club, according to Paul Joyce of The Times.

Fabrizio Romano broke the deal over the weekend and now Joyce has claimed the signing has been wrapped up.

The transfer has yet to be confirmed by the club, but Benitez is understood to be close to adding two wide players to the signing of the 34-year-old Bournemouth player.

While, Begovic, who was loaned to AC Milan in January 2020, may not be a signing to get the pulses racing, the potential arrivals of Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend certainly do.

Former Newcastle boss Benitez has set his stall out and made a statement how his team will play in 2021/22.

The Spanish coach is a huge fan of England’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and said last week: “It is very easy to see that we have a great centre-forward.

“He’s [Calvert-Lewin] very good in the air, he can score goals. But we have to provide him with good crosses, good passes.

“We can improve in these areas and, from the wide areas, the crosses will come. When we can do that, the team will be a little bit better.”

And Benitez has delivered on that with former Leicester attacker Gray all set to arrive at Goodison.

Both The Telegraph and The Times report that Everton are closing in on the signing of Gray, 25, who has only been with Bayer Leverkusen since January.

The former England Under-21 made 12 appearances for Bayer, including six starts, scoring once and assisting two goals.

Gray though has an exit clause of just £1.5m and the Toffees have met that fee and are hoping to announce the transfer imminently.

 

Former Crystal Palace winger Townsend, 30, is available on a free transfer.

Townsend walked away from Selhurst Park as a free agent in the summer after five years and 168 Premier League appearances.


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Begovic deal done

Begovic  underwent a medical with Everton on Saturday with his signing due to be announced soon.

The experienced goalkeeper will join Everton on a free transfer and on a contract to 2023.

The former Stoke man has been with Bournemouth since 2017, but now leaves a year before his deal was due to expire.

The Cherries are releasing him on a free in order to get his wages off their books. He won the Premier League title with Chelsea in 2016/17 and will bring with him vast experience of top-flight football.

READ MORE: Pundit feels Benitez has shown his hand with superstar Everton exit likely

 

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