Rafael Benitez has told talkSPORT Lucas Digne wants to leave Everton and that club legend Peter Reid would handle the situation in the same way.

Benitez is trying to offload the French international during the January transfer window and has hit out at Digne for only worrying about his stats.

Getty

Digne has been dropped by Benitez and looks destined to depart

He joined Everton with a big reputation, having played for Barcelona

He joined Everton with a big reputation, having played for Barcelona

Digne joined Everton in 2018 with a big reputation following stints at European giants PSG, Roma, and Barcelona.

The left-back was an impressive performer under successive managers, racking up 18 assists in 113 games for the Toffees.

However, tension has now risen between him and new manager Benitez, who is determined to offload a player who he says clearly doesn’t want to be there.

“I want to be sure that Everton football club is growing and improving and we create a winning mentality for the future,” he told talkSPORT. 

Benitez doesn’t want players who don’t want to be at Everton

AFP

Benitez doesn’t want players who don’t want to be at Everton

“It will take some time, yes, but, in the meantime, you need players that really want to be here.”

Former Liverpool boss Benitez then referenced Everton legend Reid, saying he would handle wantaway players in the same manner.

He said: “I think he [Digne] was very clear, so I want to ask a question to every fan or every former player what Peter Reid would do or say if a player goes and says that he doesn’t want to be there. 

Benitez asked Everton fans what club legend Peter Reid would do

Benitez asked Everton fans what club legend Peter Reid would do

“That’s it. Simple. A couple of conversations with him he told me what he thought, so what do you expect the manager to do when a player is thinking about leaving. 

“So I will say again, fans, former players, what would Peter Reid say if a player goes to the manager and says he doesn’t want to be here?

“Peter Reid, what would he say if a player doesn’t want to be here? He will be happy with this player? He will be supportive of this player? The fans will be supportive of this player? 

“It’s what we have to consider, what we want to do in the future, we want to try and grow and improve? Or just manage the egos and then leave the team behind depending on the ego?”

Digne hasn’t played for Everton since a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool on December 1

Getty

Digne hasn’t played for Everton since a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool on December 1

Benitez then questioned the 28-year-old’s motivation, saying he cares more about his own personal stats than Everton’s performances.

“A team that finished 10th and someone is worried about the stats? Changes nothing for me,” Benitez said. 

Teams such as Newcastle and Chelsea have been linked to the left-back, and Benitez was asked by talkSPORT if there has been interest but claimed that’s different from an offer.

“I am not in charge of the negotiation but when someone is asking they have to commit themselves,” he explained. 

The well-travelled left-back looks set to move, with Newcastle and Chelsea interested

Getty

The well-travelled left-back looks set to move, with Newcastle and Chelsea interested

“They have to say, ‘OK I will buy, I will pay, or I will make an obligation’ but people can talk and talk but I said before I’m really pleased with Dominic.

“But if you bring me Mbappe I will be happy too, but can I do it, I can make an enquiry, and then you will say, ‘Oh they are interested’ but that’s it.”

With the relationship between the Spaniard and his out-of-favor fullback seemingly beyond repair, Benitez explained what would happen if the club fails to sell Digne this winter.

He said: “That is football, and it’s very simple, the 31st of January, if it finishes, the transfer window, and he’s here, OK we have to start doing what we have to do.

Fans will be sad to see the fullback go, but his manager insists it’s for the best

Fans will be sad to see the fullback go, but his manager insists it’s for the best

“At the moment in his head he has what he has, and we have to deal with the players who want to be here.”

Everton legend Reid has since responded to Benitez’ press conference, with a Tweet regarding suggestions he was criticised by the Toffees boss.

“I didn’t take what Rafa said as a dig,” he wrote. “If Digne didn’t want to play for Everton and wanted a move, he would not have made the bench.”

Get The EDGE

talkSPORT EDGE is the free football app that keeps you one step ahead of your mates with short, sharp and shareable content.

Stay up to date with everything going on in the football world with breaking news, live scores and in-app betting.

How can I get it?

It’s available on iPhone and Android devices.

For iPhone, download talkSPORT EDGE via the App Store here.

For Android, download talkSPORT EDGE via the Play Store here.

!function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod?
n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;
n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version=’2.0′;n.queue=[];t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0;
t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window,
document,’script’,’https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js’);

fbq(‘init’, ‘752905198150451’);
fbq(‘track’, “PageView”);

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)

Source

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here