Incoming Everton manager Rafael Benitez is reported to have given the Toffees the green light to make former Liverpool academy man Conor Coady the first big signing of his reign.
Former Liverpool boss Benitez has been locked in talks with Everton and is poised to being announced as their new manager. Benitez became a cult hero during his time at Anfield, helping the Reds to lift their fifth European Cup along with an FA Cup.
The Spaniard partook in a war of words with Everton when at the Liverpool helm. During his stint, he referred to them as a “small club.”
That has stuck with many Everton fans, making his immediate appointment a controversial one.
Sky Sports report that Benitez is ‘close to taking over as Everton manager’. ‘Positive talks’ have reportedly taken place with the Everton board. Furthermore, Benitez is now their ‘No. 1’ choice as of Tuesday night. To that end, a deal is expected to be announced before the weekend.
And it seems Benitez has already got to work as Carlo Ancelotti’s replacement with his first signing already identified.
As per Football Insider, Benitez has given the Toffees board the go-ahead to bring in Wolves skipper Coady.
His name came up in conversation when the Everton board spoke with Nuno Espirito Santo over the vacancy. The former Wolves boss had reportedly outlined to the Toffees that Coady could be lured away from Molineux this summer. Indeed, his teammate Pedro Neto was also outlined as a potential target.
Prising him away from Molineux will not be easy, however. As club captain, he rarely misses a game for Wolves and recently signed a new deal through to 2025.
However, with Wolves needing to sell before they can buy, they are willing to discuss the sale of a number of big names.
And armed with that information, Benitez has reportedly told Everton he’d more than welcome the addition of Coady.
Valued in the £30m bracket by Wolves, Everton will hope an offer of £25m could tempt Wolves into business.
Coady is currently away with the England squad preparing for Friday’s Euro 2020 clash against Scotland.
And while the finer details of the move may have to wait, it’s claimed Everton fancy their chances of agreeing a deal with Wolves in the meantime.
James Rodriguez linked with Real return
Everton, meanwhile, could be about to lose talismanic midfielder James Rodriguez, according to a report.
Rodriguez was a major coup for Everton when they signed him on a free transfer from Madrid last summer. However, he was quickly accused of only joining because Ancelotti was in charge. Indeed, it was the third different club at which the pair had teamed up.
The attacking midfielder managed six goals and four assists from his first Premier League season. He started 21 games in an injury-hit campaign, but underlined his quality whenever available.
Under contract for at least one more season, with the option of another on top of that, Everton will be hoping to enjoy his talents over a prolonged period.