Everton have begun scouting a centre-half with a ridiculous goalscoring record at international level with a view to replacing a wantaway defender, per a report.
Since taking charge, Rafael Benitez has frequently been reported to be eyeing a new centre-back. The Spaniard’s teams are often built from the back with a solid foundation at the heart of his past successes.
But according to the Sun, one of his current defenders has ‘his heart set’ on a move abroad.
The newspaper claim Colombia international Yerry Mina is clamouring for a change of scenery. A transfer to Italy is on his agenda, with Inter Milan and Fiorentina both cited as potential suitors.
Mina’s current contract expires in 2023. If he refuses to pen fresh terms in order to facilitate a move, Everton would be wise to sanction a sale to avoid losing him for free in two years’ time.
Indeed, the report claims the Toffees could re-coup a hefty £21m sum for his signature.
With the 27-year-old’s future uncertain, plans are already in place regarding potential replacements.
It’s stated Everton coach Duncan Ferguson was dispatched to scout Stoke City and Australia centre-back, Harry Souttar.
The giant defender, standing at 6ft 5in tall, has a preposterous goalscoring record for his adopted nation. He has bagged six goals in six games for the Socceroos, though his opposition was admittedly of a lower standard.
Souttar, 22, is a regular with the Potters on the domestic scene and is said to be attracting multiple admirers with his ‘commanding’ displays.
Everton appear to be one such team, and are ‘weighing up’ whether he is capable of making the step-up to the top flight.
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Meanwhile, former striker Kevin Phillips has told Everton to get midfield outcast Jean-Philippe Gbamin off their books.
The Ivory Coast international arrived at Goodison Park for £25million in August 2019. He was tipped for big things after impressing with Mainz in the German Bundesliga. However, a recent driving ban compounded his miserable stay on Merseyside that has been wrecked by injury issues.
When asked about Gbamin’s ban and struggles on Merseyside, Phillips pointed to the case of James Rodriguez.
Phillips told Football Insider: “Only the individual can answer for what he’s done. But, as a footballer you are in the football [world] and you are setting an example so you cannot condone it [drink driving]. It’s not acceptable. He will take his punishment.
“From a football point of view, he has had injuries, he has not been playing and then this. Come January they may look to move him on.
“Like Rodriguez, they might try to get him off the payroll and use the money to strengthen somewhere else. I imagine it’s been difficult for him since moving to Everton and this incident has just topped it off. It is not good to see.”
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