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Rafa Benitez Closing In On First Two Signings As Everton Manager

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Rafa Benitez Closing In On First Two Signings As Everton Manager

Rafa Benitez is on the verge of making Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend his first two signings since becoming the new Everton manager.

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Benitez was appointed as Everton's new boss just over two weeks ago, taking over from Carlo Ancelotti after the Italian moved back to Real Madrid.

It's not a move that has gone down well in Merseyside, obviously because of his previous stint at Liverpool, with one Reds fan claiming the Spaniard will no longer be a club legend.

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The former Newcastle United manager is now on the verge of adding his first two signings to the club, and they're both wide players.

According to The Times, The Toffees are set to sign Gray from Bayer Leverkusen, for £1.5 million, and Townsend, who played for Benitez at Newcastle, on a free, after he left Crystal Palace.

Townsend left Crystal Palace after his contract expired at the end of last season. Image: PA Images
Townsend left Crystal Palace after his contract expired at the end of last season. Image: PA Images

The club are in need of more wide players, especially with Richarlison potentially missing the beginning of the season due to his participation at the Olympics with Brazil.

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However the two signings aren't exactly likely to excite fans who have been used to seeing exciting such as James Rodriguez, Richarlison, Lucas Digne and Moise Kean arrive in recent seasons.

It's clear though that the new manager is looking to improve his options on the wings and the report also claims that he wants to sign Dwight McNeil from Burnley.

The 21-year-old is highlight rated by the Clarets and have been known to not sell players if clubs don't meet their valuation, as happened with James Tarkowski last year, and Everton currently rate him worth £25 million.

Gray's time in the Bundesliga hasn't gone that well and he could be returning to the Premier League soon. Image: PA Images
Gray's time in the Bundesliga hasn't gone that well and he could be returning to the Premier League soon. Image: PA Images
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Speaking recently Benitez said, "It is very easy to see that we have a great centre-forward.

"He's [Calvert-Lewin] very good in the air, he can score goals. But we have to provide him with good crosses, good passes," so it's no wonder he wants to sign more wingers.

As well as the wide players, the Athletic also claim that former Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is also on the verge of moving to Goodison Park.

The Premier League side had Robert Olsen in reserve to Jordan Pickford last season, but he's gone back to Roma and the club have no plans to sign him.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football, Rafa Benitez, Premier League, Transfer gossip, Everton

Ryan Sidle
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