With Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams ageing rapidly, Everton are very likely to be in the mix to add a young central defender (or two) this summer. A name that has been previously mentioned is Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles, and now the Mirror are reporting that the Blues are indeed looking to shell out the big bucks for him this summer.
Lascelles signing a new six-year deal earlier this season but has been linked with London sides Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. With Rafa Benitez’s future at the club still uncertain and Mike Ashley likely looking to cash in on the youngster. The tabloid is reporting a figure of £25million, which is similar to what the Blues paid for Michael Keane minus the incentives and bonuses.
The 24-year-old has 12 youth international caps and has shined under Benitez who has taken him from the reserves to captain of the Magpies. While the towering defender has solidified the Newcastle defence ensuring Premier League survival, it’s his three goals that have really saved the Toon Army from a quick return to the Championship.
He had winning goals against Swansea City and Stoke City, and another in a draw against Burnley - without those seven points Newcastle would be a point ahead of the Swans and having to play for survival on the last weekend against Chelsea.
The defender’s memories of playing Everton have not been happy, with all three games against the Blues ending in defeat. Lascelles even got sent off for bringing down Ross Barkley in the box back in 2016, the game ending in a 3-0 loss for Newcastle at Goodison Park, then the Magpies lost 1-0 twice to Everton this season as well.
The Toffees have had their eye on Lascelles for some time now. Everton got in trouble with the Football Association back in 2014, getting their wrists slapped for “an unauthorised approach” of the player back in 2010 when he was under scholarship with Nottingham Forest and yet to even sign a professional contract.
The player, his agent at the time and the Blues were implicated for breaching the FA’s football agent regulations, and Lascelles received a warning while Everton had to pay a fine of £45,000.