Everton are reportedly among a number of clubs considering a move for Norwich City defender Max Aarons in the January transfer window.
According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, AS Roma, Borussia Dortmund and fellow Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur are also interested in securing the highly-rated 21-year-old’s services.
The report claimed that Antonio Conte’s Spurs have the ‘greatest chance’ of snapping him up either in the winter or next summer, although the Toffees could provide some stiff competition for his signature.
Following the departure of former director of football Marcel Brands from Everton, it seems as though Benitez will have much more input when it comes to transfer dealings in the future, and the Spaniard could get the new era off to a flying start by bringing Aarons to Goodison Park over the coming months.
Current first-choice right-back Seamus Coleman has been a fantastic servant to the club, but he is set to turn 34 next season, indicating that a changing of the guard will be required sooner rather than later.
In recent years, Aarons has continuously displayed his credentials to become an elite-level defender for an inconsistent Norwich side, impressing throughout his 145 appearances for his boyhood club and earning 14 caps for England’s under-21s as a result.
His outstanding displays for both club and country have drawn praise from several impressed onlookers, including his former Carrow Road boss Daniel Farke, who told reporters last December: “In my eyes, he is not the young Max Aarons, he is just a special player and he has an unbelievable future.
“I know he has been labelled as one of the best young players in this league. Well, I told him we can reject this label now because he is no longer one of the best young players, he is one of the best players.”
Since then, the £19.8m-rated star has continued to go from strength to strength and is currently enjoying a stellar campaign for the Canaries despite their struggles at the foot of the top-flight table.
As per WhoScored, Aarons has averaged two tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 1.3 dribbles and 0.8 key passes per league game throughout 2021/22, highlighting his effective displays at both ends of the pitch.
Whether Benitez can fend off the extensive competition for the youngster’s signature remains to be seen, but his arrival on Merseyside would be a significant show of intent from the Toffees.