Hello and welcome to the Liverpool ECHO 's Sunday live blog for all your very latest Everton news, rumours and transfer gossip.
The ECHO will provide breaking stories, reaction and comment to all the big talking points from Goodison Park as well as keeping tabs on transfer market gossip from around the world.
Everton are reportedly closely monitoring 24-year-old Brazilian left-back Guilherme Arana, who is valued at €40 million by Atletico Mineiro, at the Tokyo Olympics, while Blues target Denzel Dumfries has asked to return to PSV Eindhoven, but will train on an individual basis.
Get involved and send your thoughts to @LivEchoEFC.
And don't forget to subscribe to our FREEEverton FC newsletter, our YouTube channel and listen to our Royal Blue Podcast, with all your favourite ECHO regulars including Phil Kirkbride, Adam Jones, Dave Prentice, Gavin Buckland, Chris Beesley, Sam Carroll and Connor O'Neill.
Do you want an exclusive pre-season Everton preview - both in your inbox and through your letterbox? Head over here to find out more and secure your copy.
It is time for us to say goodnight!
It has been another busy day of Everton transfer rumours and we hope that you have enjoyed Sunday's LIVE Everton blog.
Don't forget, we'll be back tomorrow morning - so make sure you tune in.
Beni Baningime's sliding door moments at Everton
This week, Beni Baningime joined Hearts and on Saturday, put in a Man of the Match display in a 2-1 win over Celtic as the new Scottish Premiership season kicked off.
Leaving Everton on Thursday brought to an end a 14-year association with the club having joined the Blues at the age of nine in 2007.
However, who is to say Baningime would not be a utilised squad player or even a first-team regular now had Everton appointed a different boss in the summer of 2018?
Two days after Ronald Koeman was dismissed in October 2017, Baningime made his professional debut in a League Cup tie at Chelsea after being selected by under-23s boss David Unsworth who had taken caretaker charge of the first-team.
Four days later, the Congo-born midfielder played in his first Premier League game, coming on at Leicester.
Elliott Bretland has the fully story.
Everton 'keen' on signing Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa
Everton and West Ham are both reportedly keen on signing Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa this summer, according to The Mirror.
The 24-year-old has scored more than 100 career goals, thanks to outstanding spells with both Santos and Flamengo.
At international level, Barbosa has scored three in nine for Brazil, with The Mirror also claiming that a bid in the region of £40m could do it for Everton.
Ball labels Delph's Everton career a 'disaster'
Former Everton man Michael Ball has tipped the Blues to end Fabian Delph’s “disaster” spell on Merseyside.
“Fabian Delph’s time at Everton has been very underwhelming. It’s been a disaster for himself and the club," said Ball, speaking to This is Futbol.
“When he has been given an opportunity to bounce back from injuries, he hasn’t taken it and failed to deliver.
“It’s a disappointing one because we thought it was going to be a good signing at the time. It’s been a total failure.”
The midfielder joined Everton from Manchester City two years ago, in a deal worth up to £10million.
However, injury troubles have meant that the former Aston Villa man has only made 30 appearances since his move to the Toffees.
The issue, however, is that the 31-year-old still has a year remaining on his £80,000-per-week contract.
Joaquin Correa price set
Lazio president Claudio Lotito has set his asking price for Blues 'target' Joaquin Correa, according to a report by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
It was reported earlier this week that Everton had submitted a bid for the Argentine attacker, but that is yet to be confirmed.
With increased interest in Correa from a number of clubs across Europe, Lotito has reportedly demanded a minimum of €30million for his transfer, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
During his time at the Stadio Olimpico, he has scored 30 goals in all competitions - helping his side lift the Coppa Italia trophy in 2019, where he scored his team's second in the final against Atalanta.
Correa's impressive form for his club has led to him achieving eight caps for the Argentina national team.
Toffees coach 'won money' from Real Madrid stars
Antonio Gomez, first-team coach and senior analyst at Everton, has an impressive talent - and it attracted the attention of Cristiano Ronaldo.
“He’s very good at the crossbar challenge,” a source said of Gomez, revealed in The Athletic.
“He always challenged the players at Real Madrid and won money from them. One time after training, he had a competition with Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric and took hundreds of euros off all of them.
“Cristiano Ronaldo was watching and Perez decided to challenge him too so shouted over but Ronaldo said, ‘I’m Cristiano Ronaldo, I only hit the back of the net’.
"It had everyone laughing but Perez likes to say it was because Ronaldo knew he wouldn’t win!”
Benitez shrugs off China question
Rafa Benitez has debunked claims his time in China has taken away his competitive edge - issuing a warning to the rest of the top flight that he can compete with "anyone".
The Spaniard spent 18 months in the Chinese Super League with Dalian Pro prior to his switch to Goodison which led to suggestions in some quarters that he may struggle in his new post.
Everton in 'battle' to sign American striker
Both Everton and Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Schalke's American striker Matthew Hoppe, following his impressive displays in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The 20-year-old, who only made his USA debut in the group stage, has scored once and grabbed an assist in four appearances so far in the tournement.
After Schalke were relegated from the Bundesliga last season, a number of their players are likely to leave the club - with Hoppe tipped to depart the Veltins Arena this summer.
Despite having two tears left on his contract, the striker could prove to be a steal as he is valued at just £4million by the German outfit.
Three years of Lucas Digne
On this day back in 2018, Everton confirmed the signing of Lucas Digne from Barcelona.
Leighton Baines was one of a kind and replacing him was going to be a monumental challenge.
However, bringing Lucas Digne to fill the giant void left by a club icon is perhaps Everton's greatest transfer success of the Farhad Moshiri era.
Sure, it's been well-documented that some of the Toffees signings in the last five-and-a-half years have ranged from erroneous to disastrous but, when faced with their most difficult test, Everton passed with flying colours.
It was on the final day of the 2019-20 season, in a home game against Bournemouth that Digne embraced Baines and patted the number three on the back. Soon after, it was confirmed the hug was a changing of the left-back guard as Baines announced his retirement.
Toffees 'interested' in Championship youngster
Everton are reportedly one of many clubs that are monitoring Preston North End youngster Lewis Leigh, according to Football.London.
Leigh, who is a central midfielder, joined the Lilywhites at Under-14s level after being released by Liverpool.
Now, after a number of impressive displays for Preston’s Under-18s, he is seemingly attracting interest from a host of Premier League sides.
The 17-year-old was named on the bench for a Championship fixture last season, with Football.London also suggesting that the talented youngster is expected to sign a new contract at Deepdale - as he enters the final year of his scholarship deal.
Everton in talks with Ellis Simms as January window interest emerges
Blackpool are planning to revive their interest in Everton striker Ellis Simms in January.
The young Blues striker is sidelined until at least mid-September after picking up a groin injury at the end of last season.
Simms spent the second-half of last term on loan at Blackpool and scored 10 times to help the Tangerines to the League One play-off final.
But on the eve of the game at Wembley, Simms was injured in training and missed the game.
Blackpool defeated Lincoln 2-1 to secure a place in the Championship and talk soon centred around Simms returning to Bloomfield Road for the new campaign.
But the extent of his groin injury, as revealed by the ECHO earlier this week, means plans for a summer loan move back to Blackpool have been scrapped.
Everton given exciting Demarai Gray prediction as ex-teammate left 'astonished'
Christian Fuchs believes that Demarai Gray would be a starter for any Premier League team if he can consistently show the quality he possesses.
And the Austrian says that Gray's international aspirations are still achievable with the Blues.
The former Leicester City defender, who played alongside Gray at the King Power Stadium, saw the 25-year-old break through under Claudio Ranieri.
And both players featured in the Foxes' memorable Premier League triumph in 2016 as they defied the odds to win their first-ever top-flight title.
Gray made the switch to the Bundesliga in January, putting an end to five years at Leicester following his move from Birmingham City.
He has impressed in his opening games with the Blues against Colombian title-challengers Millonarios and Mexico's PUMAS after his £1.5m move from Bayer Leverkusen, scoring against the former before assisting Moise Kean's goal against the Liga MX side.
With the Premier League campaign kicking off in a little over a week, Everton have added three stars so far.
Asmir Begovic, Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray have walked through the doors at USM Finch Farm with all three featuring prominently in the Florida Cup with Gray scoring and assisting in their two games.
Speculation is still looming large at Goodison too with James Rodriguez, Fabian Delph and Andre Gomes linked with moves away from the club.
And as the rumour mill continues to whirl, Everton are reportedly plotting moves for their next arrival.
But how likely are further deals? Here, we take a lookout some of the latest rumours doing the rounds.
Everton might have dropped Cenk Tosun hint with Andros Townsend decision
Cenk Tosun's future at Everton is still a little up-in-the-air, and Andros Townsend's pre-season squad number could perhaps hint towards the plans for him at Goodison.
The striker has been out-of-action since returning from his loan spell at Besiktas early last season after suffering a serious injury.
The 30-year-old had surgery on the issue in April and it was initially believed that it would lead to him spending an extended amount of time on the sidelines, until at least November.
Meanwhile, Everton have already made a trio of new signings over the course of the summer - with Andros Townsend being the first of those when he was announced earlier this week.
Matheus Nunes wanted
Everton could reportedly re-enter the race to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Matheus Nunes.
According to Potuguese new outlet Record, via Sportslens, the Blues initially withdrew from talks following the appointment of Rafa Benitez, but could now be back in the mix.
The report goes on to say that Everton are in the market for a new midfielder, and could look to bring Nunes to Goodison Park.
It has also been claimed that Sporting would want £16m for Nunes’ services this summer.
Everton dealt Goodison blow after Premier League dressing room decision
Sides visiting Goodison Park in the opening weeks of the season could be forced to once again get changed in Portakabin dressing rooms.
That is because clubs in the top-flight have been informed by the Premier League that they will have to keep to social distancing rules in dressing rooms for the start of the new season.
Everton, however, are still waiting on further guidance from the relevant safety bodies before they can fully understand how the opening game of the season will work at Goodison and where away teams will be housed.
Some reports claimed the Premier League have performed a U-turn in their stance, but the ECHO understands clubs were warned last month protocols could remain.
The ECHO also understands clubs were told to remain agile as extra precautions could be enforced by the governing body at any time.
The reasons behind the move is the Premier League is keen on ensuring players, staff and fans remain safe and full squads can’t be affected if pinged by the NHS app.
Everton keeping tabs on Brazil defender
Everton are being linked with a move for Atlético Mineiro defender Guilherme Arana.
According to Torcedores, the Blues currently have a scout in Japan to watch some of the talent on display at this summer’s Olympics.
The report goes on to say that Arana, who plays for Brazil, has caught the eye and is having his performances evaluated further.
Arana has a release clause in his contract at Mineiro worth €40m, and do not plan to let the player leave for any less than that figure.
James Rodriguez's Everton future, Rafa Benitez's transfer stance and wages plan
Everton and James Rodriguez have a month to try and find a transfer solution that suits both parties.
Rodriguez has been informed that he doesn't feature in Rafa Benitez's plans this season and he is free to leave, should the right offer be tabled.
On Friday night, the Colombian said he did not know what the future held but, only, that he hoped to play at a club where he was "wanted".
Under Carlo Ancelotti at Everton, he was. Under Benitez, less so.
The new Blues boss wants a squad of consistent players, who offer certain levels of energy and intensity on a weekly basis.
And as he tries to revamp the squad, Benitez is conscious of needing to get more bang for the club's buck and making the Blues' budget go further.
He believes that freeing the wage bill of Rodriguez's salary would help significantly in that.
Denzel Dumfries to train alone amid Everton links
There has been an update on reported Everton transfer target Denzel Dumfries.
According to Dutch news outlet Eindhovens Dagblad, via Inside Futbol, Dumfries is set to train away from the rest of the PSV Eindhoven squad amid uncertainty over his future.
The Blues have been frequently linked with the right-back, while Inter Milan are also supposedly keen.
The report states that while Dumfries has expressed his desire to leave PSV, he has asked the club to continue training until a move materialises.
However, the Dutch side are only letting him training on an individual basis, and would be willing to sell the Netherlands international for the right price.
Sign up to our FREE Everton newsletter
Must-read Everton news
Hello everyone and welcome to Sunday's Everton Live Blog.
Stick with us throughout the day for all the latest news and views on the Blues.