Rafa Benitez confirms that Lucas Digne has requested a transfer


Rafa Benitez has accused Lucas Digne of putting his own interests “before the team” after confirming that he requested a move from Everton.

The Frenchman has not been with Benitez since the couple experienced a high-profile fight last month and the interest in Digne is great. 90min understands that Newcastle, Leicester, Chelsea and West Ham are all considering a move for the defender, who seems unlikely to play while the current coach is in place at Goodison Park.

Benitez gave an update on Dignes’ future at a press conference before his team’s FA Cup meeting with Hull City on Saturday, and seemed to be digging into his player for his lack of commitment while confirming that he requested a transfer.

“We have some conversations. He told us what he thought. So what do you expect the coach to do when a player is considering leaving?” in Benitez.

We need commitment. We do not need inquiries. I am not responsible for the negotiations but when someone asks they have to get involved and say “I will buy”.

Asked why he thought Digne was trying to force himself out of Everton, Benitez insisted he was unsure of his motives, adding: “I have no explanation. We are professionals, we get big money to do our job … I modern football maybe the priorities have changed & people think of themselves before the team.

“On January 31, if he is here, we have to start doing what we have to do. At the moment, in his head, he has what he has and we have to deal with the players who are here.”

Benitez also confirmed that Everton have not yet received an offer, saying: “As a coach you try to do the best for your club and sometimes it is against you. We tried to handle the situation. There is interest but nothing concrete. What I can not do is to bring in players who want to be here and prioritize those who are not interested. ”

As for where Digne could end up, 90min understands that Newcastle are pushing hard for a fast, permanent deal, while the rest of his suitors are only interested in lending the player.

The Magpies have already talked to Everton about a player-plus-cash deal that would mean Sean Longstaff going in the opposite direction. But like many of Newcastle’s other goals in January, Digne is not convinced by a move to St James’ right now.

Instead, he is hopeful that Chelsea will seek protection for the injured Ben Chilwell, although all offers from Thomas Tuchel’s side are likely to come in the form of a loan. West Ham are also interested in Digne due to an injury to Aaron Cresswell, although the club remain optimistic that he will soon return from a back problem.

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