Benitez wants Man Utd star after securing two Everton deals
Rafa Benitez has turned his attention towards Man Utd winger Jesse Lingard as he looks to carry on spending this summer, according to reports.
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The Toffees signed former England winger Andros Townsend and Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old Townsend was available on a free transfer after his deal at Crystal Palace expired at the end of last season and has signed a two-year contract.
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The Toffees then brought in experienced goalkeeper Begovic to provide extra competition for first choice Jordan Pickford. The 34-year-old has signed a 12-month deal with the option of a further year.
The two signings are Everton’s first since the appointment of Benitez as manager but the Spaniard is eyeing more additions.
The Sun claim that Everton ‘have joined the list of clubs keeping tabs on’ Lingard and his situation at Man Utd this summer.
Lingard appeared in the second half for the Red Devils at Pride Park as Man Utd beat Derby 2-1 in their pre-season friendly on Sunday.
The England international returned to the club following his loan at West Ham in the second half of last season and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he is in his plans as it stands.
“Jesse is a Man Utd player,” said Solskjaer of the 28-year-old, who hit the woodwork. “He wants to fight for his place. He has come back bright, bubbly, loads of energy, confident.
“Everyone saw what he did towards the end of last season at West Ham. He is still in my plans.”
The Sun add that Benitez has ‘made it his top priority to strengthen the wide areas to provide more ammunition for Dominic Calvert Lewin’ with Bayer Levekusen’s Demarai Gray and Burnley’s Dwight McNeil ‘also on the radar’.
West Ham ‘would be interested in taking’ Lingard back to the London Stadium this summer but earlier reports have suggested they would find it hard to stump up the cash needed for a deal.
However, former Premier League striker Kevin Campbell thinks the Hammers should sell Declan Rice so they can fund a deal for Lingard.
Campbell told Football Insider: “I think West Ham will cash in, to be quite honest with you.
“There was occasions last season when he was not in the side and they were still productive and they were still winning football matches.
“If you cash in on Rice you can then throw a lot of money at say a Jesse Lingard, who was unbelievable for them last season. It is all about being smart about how you trade. You have got to move and shake a little bit.
“Rice going to Chelsea? I can see it happening. Man United will also be interested, that’s for sure.
“Rice is a top player and he proved that in the Euros. He was amazing in the final. I think the money could be put to good use if he was sold.”