Everton have expressed an interest in Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze as their search for a new winger continues.
The 22-year-old made 40 appearances last season, scoring four and assisting eight as his team won the Europa League.
He is also a Nigeria international with 18 caps, so will bring a decent amount of experience to Goodison Park despite his young age.
Chukwueze was injured for Villarreal’s Europa victory over Manchester United but featured in both legs against Arsenal in the semi-finals, picking up a groin injury in the second leg.
The tricky winger has also been linked with United and Liverpool in the past and has a £71million release clause in his contract which expires in 2023.
The Merseyside club’s interest is no surprise due to their need for a wide-man.
Theo Walcott has joined Southampton permanently, Alex Iwobi has struggled to make an impact since joining from Arsenal, and Bernard is currently facing an uncertain future at Goodison.
However, Everton are apparently close to signing Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray.
Gray is going to cost Rafa Benitez‘s side around £1.5m. The attacker currently plays for Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen and he only joined them in January.
With first-team opportunities hard to come by, Gray left the Foxes to join Leverkusen earlier this year. He scored one goal and provided two assists for the German side from his 12 appearances.
Townsend meanwhile is out of contract after his deal at Crystal Palace expired on July 1. He has 26 goals and 22 assists from his 243 Premier League appearances.
The 30-year-old former England international departed Palace after five years at Selhurst Park.
Elsewhere, Benitez has revealed that he has been “in contact” with Everton forward Richarlison. The Brazillian is reportedly attracting interest from Ancelotti’s Real Madrid.
Richarlison is set to represent Brazil at the Tokyo Olympics. Their first game is against Germany on Thursday, July 22. The final of the tournament takes place on Saturday, August 7.
“I was in contact with him, he had the Olympic Games in the back of his head, we needed to sort out his situation and he is fine,” Benitez said.
“He is happy because he can go there… and he knows he has to give us something back because we were supporting him.
“That [not being involved at start of season] could be something we can consider not great in the beginning but will be a massive boost for us in the rest of the season because he will try to deliver.”