By George Overhill

9th Jan, 2022 | 6:40pm

Fabrizio Romano shares update on Chelsea hunt for Everton left-back Lucas Digne

Everton may have lost the answer to their transfer conundrum over Lucas Digne with a Chelsea move now “very unlikely” reports Fabrizio Romano.

Writing on his personal Twitter account, the Italian football journalist says Chelsea are instead focusing on recalling Emerson Palmieri from his loan at Lyon.

The European Champions are apparently willing to offer the French side compensation to get the Brazilian back, having had their initial attempt at a recall rejected.

Consequently for Everton, Romano writes: “Lucas Digne deal now looking very unlikely. Nothing advanced. Everton ask for permanent move.”

Headache for Benitez

The development is not good news for Everton manager Rafael Benitez with the funds from offloading the full-back potentially crucial in securing incoming transfers during this window.

It is also a blow to the player himself, who had reportedly already made a mess of his manager’s plans by turning down a move to Newcastle [The Mirror], a deal which the Spaniard had hoped would help secure Sean Longstaff moving in the opposite direction.

The France international prefers a move that will grant him the prospect of playing in the Champions League and with most of the viable candidates preferring only a loan deal it was hoped that some of Roman Abramovich’s millions could be the answer.

With first-choice wing-back Ben Chilwell potentially out for the season following surgery, the Blues were thought to hold an interest in Digne.

But the prospect of a big-money bid appears to be fading, and with Benitez having admitted that the ex-Barcelona man has asked to leave the club [BBC], he now faces the potential of carrying an unhappy player in his squad and missing out the transfer funds.

In other Everton news, this star man is reportedly being lined up by Arsenal.