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Everton manager Rafa Benitez has been in the transfer market for a long-term Seamus Coleman replacement throughout the summer window – and has reportedly found his man in Rangers’ Nathan Patterson after months of searching.
Benitez, who won the Champions League with Everton’s bitter rivals Liverpool in 2005, joined the Toffees at the end of June following Carlo Ancelotti’s departure to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The Spaniard has started well at Goodison Park, beating Southampton 3-1 on his home debut before drawing 2-2 at Leeds United on Saturday, albeit in a game Everton should have won.
He has overseen a period of transition in his six weeks on Merseyside so far, with talented winger James Rodriguez frozen out and wingers Bernard, Theo Walcott and Yannick Bolasie sold in a bid to save wages.
And by adding Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray, Benitez is looking for cheap, committed stars to fill his side. That may continue in his next move, if reports are to be believed.
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Coleman continues to fill the right-back berth that he played in for much of the last decade, and it remains to be seen if youth product Jonjoe Kenny is good enough to be his long-term successor.
Kenny, who went on loan to Celtic last season, produced some sub-standard performances as they relinquished the title to Rangers last season.
And, after bids for Holland star Denzel Dumfries were turned down before his move to Inter Milan, Benitez has moved on to his next target – and could raid the man who was his former Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, in a bid for Rangers youngster Nathan Patterson.
Patterson, 19, was called up for the Scotland Euro 2020 squad, although didn’t play due to Stephen O’Donnell’s strong performances.
The youngster is very highly regarded at Ibrox, but faces competition to get into their side ahead of stalwart James Tavernier.
And, with better wages, reputation and coaching on offer at Goodison Park, Benitez and Everton chiefs believe that Patterson would be willing to make the switch to Merseyside.
According to the Daily Mirror, it is thought a fee of £5million would be enough to tempt the Scottish club into talks to sell Patterson.
However, the Glaswegian side may reject any advance for the Scottish wonderkid such is his promise.
Rangers suffered European heartbreak last week as they fell to 10-man Malmo in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.
And by doing so, they must now advance past Alashkert in the UEFA Conference League, which may force Patterson into a move away from the club as a result of the loss in prize money that the Champions League brings.
Everton will look to continue their unbeaten start to the season next Saturday in an away fixture to Brighton.
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