Everton have been linked with a move for Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet as Rafael Benitez looks to bolster his current options.
According to Spanish newspaper AS, the Toffees have enquired about signing the 26-year-old centre-back on loan this summer, although the Catalan giants would be open to a permanent sale as they need to reduce their wage bill.
The report added that fellow Premier League side West Ham United are also interested in acquiring Lenglet’s signature and that he’s open to a Premier League move, giving both clubs hope that a deal can be concluded.
Lenglet arrived at Camp Nou back in 2018 from La Liga outfit Sevilla in a £31.7m deal, and although he’s made an impressive 133 appearances for the Catalan club, he’s failed to establish himself as a key player.
A string of costly errors have seen the France international’s stock plummet at Barca, and Eric Garcia’s arrival could push him further down the pecking order. However, Lenglet is a top-class operator on his day, and new Everton manager Benitez would surely love to have such a highly-rated and experienced player at his disposal next season.
Speaking about the 26-year-old previously, France’s national team boss Didier Deschamps showered the defender with praise, stating: “He’s a top player. He’s got good technique, and despite his size, he’s not bothered by individual duels. He’s a player who’s improving every day.”
Although the Merseyside club are already well-stocked in the centre of defence, none of Benitez’s current options distribute the ball as efficiently as the Frenchman, who has a 92.1% passing success rate, and his arrival would give the former Newcastle United manager a natural left-footed option.
It remains to be seen whether the Everton hierarchy follow up their initial enquiry with a bid for the £22.5m-rated ace, but Benitez and the club’s supporters must be hoping that director of football Marcel Brands can get this deal over the line.