Rafa Benitez risks upsetting some of the Newcastle fans who idolised him, with his new club Everton reportedly ready to make a £50million move for Toon talisman Allan Saint-Maximin.
Former Liverpool chief Benitez has already caused one major stir, after his recent controversial switch to Goodison Park. And it looks like another could be on the cards – if the Spaniard attempts to land exciting winger Saint-Maximin.
Daily Mirror sources claim that Saint-Maximin will be a target if former Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti takes Richarlison to Real Madrid this summer.
Benitez was said to have been against the signing of Saint-Maximin two years ago. However, the talented attacker arrived in a £16.5million deal from Nice not long after he left.
Since then, Saint-Maximin has been a revelation, with Newcastle handing him a new six-year contract last October. They also reportedly value the player at between £50-60m.
One major issue for the Magpies is that the 24-year-old has already warned them that they must match his lofty ambitions. He wants a stronger Newcastle squad to challenge for the European spots this coming campaign.
As for Everton, they expecting a major fight to keep Richarlison out of Ancelotti’s grasp. There are also doubts over winger Moise Kean’s future.
The Toffees have already rejected an approach from PSG and are not prepared to let him leave on another loan deal.
They are, however, willing to listen to a cash deal – with the funds raised then being invested on new recuits.
Benitez has a number of targets, including Norwich’s Max Aarons, PSV’s Denzel Dumfries and Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma.
Everton lose momentum in midfielder chase
Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez’s arrival at Everton reportedly means that the Toffees will have to start transfer negotiations from scratch if they still want to sign Matheus Nunes.
The Toffees are one of four Premier Premier League clubs facing pivotal summer transfer windows. Following recent managerial sackings, Everton, Tottenham Wolves and Crystal Palace have all found new coaches to steer them in a different direction. With that, though, comes the task of adding to their squads.
Benitez has yet to make any signings after his controversial appointment at Goodison Park.
However, Sporting midfielder Nunes has emerged one reported target. Reports last month, in fact, claimed that the Toffees were ready to open talks after proposing an opening bid.
Further reports in Portugal claimed that those talks were progressing well.
According to the latest from Record (via Sport Witness), though, Everton have lost momentum in the deal.
That is because Benitez has become the manager, instead of Nuno Espirito Santo. Everton were in talks with Nunes’ fellow Portuguese, hence the transfer connection with the player.