Rafael Benitez has made it an Everton ‘priority’ to land further reinforcements in the attacking areas, with a West Ham-linked Man Utd star now on his radar, per a report.
The Everton revolution under Benitez is underway, though the early signings in the transfer window have split opinion among fans. Asmir Begovic arrived from Bournemouth to provide a veteran presence behind Jordan Pickford. But the free agent capture of Andros Townsend has left a portion of the fanbase feeling underwhelmed.
Ex-Leicester flyer Demarai Gray has also been linked, and per the Sun further signings in the attacking areas are Benitez’s ‘top priority’.
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin shone in a breakthrough campaign. But to ensure he does not regress, Benitez wishes to freshen up his wide options to help provide ‘more ammunition’ for his centre forward.
As such, the newspaper report that Man Utd forward Jesse Lingard is now under consideration with Everton now rivalling West Ham for his signature.
Lingard, 28, enjoyed a superb loan spell with West Ham last season. Hammers boss David Moyes is keen to bring the England international back on board. However, little progress has thus far been made.
Whether Lingard is even for sale has not yet been determined for sure. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently revealed his joy at having the forward back among the group.
However, the Athletic claimed the club’s board wish to cash in this summer with Lingard’s stock at an all-time high.
With Everton now in the race, a bidding war between the Toffees and Hammers could now ensue. That would increase the likelihood of a significant offer being tabled and boost the board’s chances of getting their wish.
Everton eyeing £71m-rated Europa winner
Meanwhile, Benitez is reportedly keeping tabs on Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze, who lifted the Europa League last season.
This is not the first time Chukwueze has been linked with a Premier League move. Both Manchester United and Liverpool are said to be keen on the youngster.
Now The Athletic report that the blue side of Merseyside have also thrown their hat into the ring. Either way, it seems the in-demand wide man is likely to depart Unai Emery’s set-up this summer.
However, clubs may have to fork out a hefty price. Chukwueze has a whopping £71million release clause in his contract which doesn’t expire until 2023.
La Razon, though, have mooted that Villarreal are unlikely to receive the full whack for their player.