Everton ‘on the brink of signing Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend’ as Benitez aims for first signings

Everton are about to sign wingers Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend as Rafa Benitez approaches his first newcomers since his controversial move to Goodison Park

  • Rafa Benitez aims to bring his first signings to Everton since joining the club
  • The Toffees want to bring in Demarai Gray from Bayer Leverkusen for £1.5million
  • Former Crystal Palace star Andros Townsend can also participate for free
  • Benitez wants to build a team from the ashes of Carlo Ancelotti’s stint

Rafa Benitez’s first priority is to bolster Everton wide and move closer to make wingers Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend his first Toffees signings.

The former Liverpool boss has controversially replaced Carlo Ancelotti in Goodison’s dugout and is building his team at Merseyside.

Benitez will aim to improve on the Italian’s 10th place finish in 2020-21 and is seeking help from two stars with Premier League experience.

Bayer Leverkusen winger Damarai Gray gets close to Everton this summer

He can be joined by Andros Townsend, who is a free agent after leaving Crystal Palace

He can be joined by Andros Townsend, who is a free agent after leaving Crystal Palace

The Spaniard is looking to bring some depth to the flanks, with the Times reporting that Gray is about to be signed by Bayer Leverkusen for £1.5million, while Townsend is in talks about a free transfer after leaving Crystal Palace.

Gray only left Leicester City in January on a deal of around £3million, but scored just one goal and five starts for the Bundesliga outfit.

The 25-year-old has a Premier League title and 133 top-flight appearances to his name but has yet to realize his early potential, having captured attention in Birmingham City’s academy, as did Jude Bellingham a few years later.

Townsend is a familiar face for Benitez, although he only took the winger under his wing for two months during his doomed Newcastle spell.

It looks like the pair will be Rafa Bentiez's first purchases since arriving at Goodison Park

It looks like the pair will be Rafa Bentiez’s first purchases since arriving at Goodison Park

Both gentlemen bring good Premier League experience, with Gray winning the title with Leicester

Both gentlemen bring good Premier League experience, with Gray winning the title with Leicester

The former England international spent half a season with the Magpies in 2016, starting every game after the Spaniard’s appointment.

The 30-year-old – who appeared on BBC Sport for punditry during Euro 2020 – has a career spanning 243 appearances and could be a valuable member of the Toffees squad.

Benitez’s next priority appears to be between the sticks, close to signing Asmir Begovic from Championship side Bournemouth.

The former Chelsea, Yeovil, AC Milan and Qarabag goalkeeper will be a solid backup for England hero Jordan Pickford.

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