Newcastle United have made a £22.5 million bid for Everton defender Lucas Digne with midfielder Sean Longstaff offered as part of the deal.
Telegraph Sport revealed on Tuesday that Newcastle would turn their attention to Digne after signing Kieran Trippier from Atlético Madrid for £12m and a bid was made on Wednesday.
Everton are keen on Longstaff, who only has six months left on his contract and made his first team debut under Rafael Benítez in 2019, and that has given Newcastle the framework of a deal that is acceptable to the Merseyside club.
Whether the deal can be completed remains to be seen. Digne wants to wait and assess his options before deciding where he wants to move to St James’ Park and is thought to be keen to see if rumoured interest from Everton and West Ham also turns into a concrete offer.
Everton are desperate to offload the Frenchman, who has fallen out with Benítez. They have already signed his replacement this month in Ukraine international Vitaliy Mykolenko and need to balance the books by selling the 28-year-old. He will not play for Everton while Benítez is in charge unless there is a dramatic thaw in relations.
Newcastle are the first club to make an approach and are willing to give the former Paris St-Germain star some time to consider their offer, but they will not hang around if he is genuinely reluctant to join them.
Manager Eddie Howe has stressed the club’s board that he only wants players who are the right sort of characters and who want to play for the club and help them escape relegation. Digne’s initial response suggests he has reservations but the two parties will continue to talk over the next few days. If he still does not want to come or is waiting for others to bid, Newcastle will move on to other targets.
Newcastle will turn their attention to the signing of a centre-back and a striker before they focus on the loan market once the Digne situation has been clarified.
That is likely to mean Newcastle make a second bid for Lille’s Holland Under-21 international Sven Botman with Sevilla’s Diego Carlos also of strong interest if the French club do not budge in their insistence he is not for sale this month.
Howe had made the signing of defenders the most pressing focus of recruitment and having landed Trippier the club sensibly wish to focus on specific targets for the rest of the week in the hope they can make a second breakthrough.
A number of strikers are being looked at, with Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke and Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah the leading domestic options at this stage. The latter, who only has six months left on his contract, would appear to be the more realistic of the two given Bournemouth are chasing promotion in the Championship.
Club sources have made no secret of the fact they are finding it extremely tough to persuade clubs to sell at a realistic price but they have not given up on Botman despite being told he would not be allowed to leave until the summer. It is hoped an improved bid could change Lille’s mind but if it does not a bid will be made for Carlos.