Everton working hard to improve team in January – Rafael Benitez

Benitez hopes to sign “two or three players” during the transfer window.
Everton manager Rafael Benitez hopes to make two or three signings in January (Peter Byrne/PA)

Everton manager Rafael Benitez hopes to make two or three signings in January (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Carl Markham, PA

Everton manager Rafael Benitez is confident he can bring in two or three players in January but admits they have to be “careful” with their business.

The Spaniard’s first transfer window in the summer was severely restricted by Financial Fair Play regulations and he brought in four free transfers – two of which were back-up goalkeepers – and spent just £1.7million on Demarai Gray.

That was not enough to prevent the first half of the season being decimated by injuries which have severely impacted results, with the club 15th in the table heading into the new year.

However, despite the injury list still being a lengthy one Benitez will not be making significant purchases in January – although the club are expected to bring in Dynamo Kiev left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko for £18m with Lucas Digne likely to be offloaded after reportedly falling out with the manager.

“We are working hard. We are trying to find some targets to improve the team. Everybody knows how difficult January is,” Benitez said ahead of the visit of Brighton on Sunday.

“Everybody is a little bit worried about Covid, no-one wants to spend too much money. That is complicated. I am quite confident we will do two or three things.

“We are in contact with clubs but it’s not just me – the board are (also) looking for the right options.

“Not everybody has a lot of money to spend so we have to be careful when we buy, sell or loan players. “I knew what we were looking for in August, we are working to find the right players for the present and the future.

“We are trying to be sure we have chances to improve. What can (the fans) expect? Two or three players, and players who want to be here.”

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