Benitez targets sensational Barcelona raid amid fears over Everton man
New Everton manager Rafael Benitez has reportedly made a request to the club’s board to sign Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet in the summer transfer window.
Benitez, 61, has now arrived at Goodison Park after Carlo Ancelotti’s defection to Real Madrid. He was a controversial choice due to his Liverpool connections but is already looking to shape his squad for 2021-2022. The Spaniard is said to be concerned over the Toffees’ rearguard and wants a quality addition at centre-back.
That is because he report ‘does not trust’ Yerry Mina who showed indifferent form for Colombia in the Copa America. The former Newcastle chief believes Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate are ‘too young’.
And, with that in mind he wants 26-year-old Lenglet on board to partner Michael Keane at the heart of his defence. Fichajes.net (via Sport Witness) are reporting that Benitez has ‘asked’ Everton to sign the France international before the start of next season.
It remains it be seen if they comply but the former Sevilla stopper would not cost a king’s ransom. Barca’s financial difficulties mean they need to sell many players this summer.
It also puts the buying clubs in a strong position and Lenglet is said to be on Joan Laporta’s ‘discard list’. The report adds that any interested suitor will be able to do business around the €20m mark.
That should be within Everton’s budget and all eyes will be on whether the club’s money men back Benitez.
Lenglet could be bargain of the summer
Should the Merseysiders land their target they will be getting a real workhorse of a player. He has been a regular starter for the Catalans since arriving from Sevilla in the summer of 2018.
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The ex-Nancy ace has enjoyed 133 outings in all competitions and chipped in with seven goals He is a no-nonsense defender and no stranger to the referee’s notebook.
He picked up nine yellow cards and was sent off twice for the Nou Camp giants last term. Premier League strikers will have taken note and may prey on that part of his game if he does move to England.
But he is vastly experienced at the top level having made 29 Champions League appearances for Barca. He will see no European action for Everton if he joins. However, Benitez will do all he can to make sure that changes.
The experienced coach is already playing hardball over the future of forward Moise Kean. He is clearly looking to stamp his authority on the club and that can only bode well for the future.
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