Everton are set to test Brighton with a big offer for Ben White and challenge Arsenal for the defender, who still remain in the chase.
According to the Daily Mail, Everton are preparing a huge bid for Ben White as they plan to test Brighton’s resolve. The Toffees want to challenge Arsenal for the central defender.
Everton, under new manager Rafael Benitez are ready to make moves to secure their targets in this window, with White reportedly one of their top priorities. It’s only been a couple of days since Benitez’s controversial appointment as the manager, with the Spaniard having sought assurances from the Toffees’ board on transfers and are now ready to make their moves.
One of Benitez’s reported top targets is a central defender. Everton already have a crop of young defenders in Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate alongside experienced heads such as Micheal Keane and Yerry Mina. However, Benitez views another top-quality defender with versatility as a priority and remains keen on White.
The situation with White remains uncertain. The defender has asked to leave Brighton at the end of the season, and Arsenal are in pole position to sign him. The Gunners have seen two important bids worth £42 million and £45 million plus bonuses rejected so far. Brighton are seeking £50 million plus add-ons.
As Arsenal are yet to respond to those demands, Everton could take the lead by matching Brighton’s asking price. The Toffees are prepared to offer £50 million plus another £5 million in bonuses. The Daily Mail report also suggests that Everton are ready to pay £20 million upfront with the balance restructured for the next four years.
White earlier preferred a move to Arsenal before joining up his England teammates for the Euros campaign. It’s understood that he remains hopeful of a move to Arsenal, although Everton’s substantial interest could turn his head. Arsenal have to match what Everton offer for White, even as Manchester City also show interest.
Everton’s other targets include Conor Coady, while Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Tripper is also an option. The club are looking to secure their right side of the defence. With White’s versatility, he could be expected to cover more than one position as Benitez seeks fluidity in his team.
Whether Everton succeed in their pursuit of Ben White will entirely depend on their offer, but more so on the player himself. Everton sure are a big enough club, but the lure of joining a team like Arsenal could appeal to the Englishman. However, with interest mounting the Gunners need to act quickly or risk losing their top target to a direct rival.