Journalist claims Rafa Benitez wants £22m Everton player as one of his first signings at his new club

According to journalist Pablo Patino, Rafa Benitez is interested in bringing Everton midfielder Andre Gomes to Celta Vigo as one of his first signings at the club, writes the Everton News.

Benitez is expected to be announced as Celta Vigo’s new manager soon, marking his return to coaching since his departure from Everton last year. Despite his underwhelming tenure at Goodison Park, Benitez appears keen on reuniting with Gomes in his native country.

It is worth noting that Gomes had limited playing time in the Premier League under Benitez, which makes the former boss’s desire to re-sign him intriguing. The exact amount that Celta Vigo would offer for the 29-year-old is unclear, but Everton is unlikely to recoup anywhere near the £22 million they paid for him in 2019. While Everton won’t make a profit from Gomes, it is evident that his time at the club has come to an end.

This summer, Everton is looking to offload as many surplus players as possible, and Gomes falls into that category. After an underwhelming loan spell at Lille, described by French outlet Jeunes Footeux as “far from convincing,” Gomes is unlikely to feature prominently under Sean Dyche. A move away from Merseyside would be the best option for all parties involved, and it will be interesting to see if Benitez can revive Gomes’ career after his disappointing stint at Everton.

Furthermore, Gomes could potentially join forces with another player targeted by Benitez in the past, Denis Suarez, as SPORT previously reported that the Spanish manager had attempted to sign Suarez for Everton.