Everton reportedly remain interested in signing Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey in the upcoming January transfer window, with manager Rafa Benitez desperate to improve his engine room options.
The Toffees have long been linked with a move for the 30-year-old as he’s struggled for regular game time in Turin, and now it appears as though an imminent switch could be on the cards.
According to The Mirror (as relayed by the Liverpool ECHO), Juve are desperate to get Ramsey off their wage bill and will allow him to leave on free in order to do so, despite him having 18 months left to run on his current contract.
It goes on to state that any potential suitor could end up paying £42m in wages on the Wales international over the next three-and-a-half years, although that’s not something Benitez is concerned about.
Ever since playmaker James Rodriguez departed for Qatari outfit Al-Rayyan back in September, Everton have lacked a player capable of carving open opposition defences on a regular basis.
And Ramsey is certainly someone who could solve that particular issue with ease, having proven himself to be an elite-level attacking midfielder throughout his 11-year spell with Arsenal.
After one particularly impressive display in a sem-final success against Manchester City back in 2017, Ramsey was even compared to Chelsea and England legend Frank Lampard by his former manager Arsene Wenger.
“In my head, Ramsey was going to be a player between 10 and 15 goals a year,” Wenger said – via the club’s website. “He is a Frank Lampard type. He is (about) getting in the box and he has a huge capacity to run.
“Physically, he has a combination of stamina, power and his capacity to repeat high intensity is certainly the best in the league. He has it all in the locker to be defensive and offensive. These kind of players are very important.”
However, things have not gone to plan since his free transfer to Juventus. Injuries have severely restricted his game time, and he’s slipped down the pecking order under Massimiliano Allegri, starting just one game in all competitions this season.
But his fitness woes and astronomic wages are not thought to have put Benitez off, with the 61-year-old said to be a huge admirer of the creative talent and is pushing to make the deal happen in January.
The Mirror claim the Spanish tactician is the driving force behind the Toffees’ interest and that could prove to be a pivotal factor following the recent departure of the former director of football Marcel Brands.
Benitez now holds a huge amount of power in Everton’s transfer dealings, and his first move could be for Ramsey over the coming months. By doing so, he’d end their long hunt for a new option in midfield.
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