Barcelona Transfer News: Juventus Reportedly Alerted by Everton Lucas Digne Bid

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 22, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 11:  Lucas Digne of Barcelona in action during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Getafe at Camp Nou on February 11, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Lucas Digne's time at Barcelona looks to be drawing to a close following reports Juventus have been alerted by Everton's bid for the player, although the Blaugrana won't move in the transfer market to replace the left-back.

After it emerged Everton had made an offer for Digne, Calciomercato.com reported on the Bianconeri's eagerness to offer him another way out of Jordi Alba's shadow, as a potential replacement for Alex Sandro.

Calciomercato said the Toffees' offer was worth €16 million (£14.2 million), however MailOnline's Simon Jones wrote the Premier League club had bid £18 million. Everton are in search of a long-term successor to Leighton Baines, who turns 34 in December.

Barca manager Ernesto Valverde won't look to spend to acquire a Digne alternative, however, as Sport's Albert Roge wrote that a prospect from La Masia would instead be promoted (via fan account La Masia):

La Masia @Youngcules

Barça wanna sell Digne and replace him with Cucu! https://t.co/uXfSo6ET8X

Marc Cucurella, 20, has featured for Barcelona B since 2016 and made his senior debut for the club in October last year, when he replaced Digne in a 3-0 Copa del Rey over Real Murcia.

Despite turning out for Barca only 20 times last season (15 starts), Digne was highly regarded when he emerged at former club Lille and has since spent time at Paris Saint-Germain and AS Roma. The Mirror's David Anderson praised Everton's ambition in the event they manage to pull the deal off:

David Anderson @MirrorAnderson

Everton are in the box seat. Juventus keen, but need to sell Alex Sandro first, while Bayern Munich are seen very much as outsiders in the race. Could be a great signing for Everton if it comes off. https://t.co/HT9khMah4r

Mundo Deportivo (h/t Sport Witness) reported Everton are in "constant contact" with Barcelona regarding Digne's move, meaning Juventus will have to act quickly if they want to muscle in on the deal.

And that's where the problem lies. Whereas Everton know veteran Baines will eventually leave the club and want their man, the Bianconeri are under more pressure to secure Sandro's sale first if it's a replacement they're after.

Valverde is unlikely to care which of Digne's suitors gets their hands on him as long as it means securing optimal funds for their own plans, with Cucurella on standby to offer cover for starter Alba.

Sportswriter Ed Malyon questioned whether that was likely, however, after the Catalan club has shown less willingness to promote from La Masia in recent years:

Ed Malyon @eaamalyon

@thcoast There have been lots of players they liked in the academy but none are coming through the pipeline. Aleña was getting talked up for years

Digne has been capped 21 times by France and was on the standby list for their 2018 FIFA World Cup triumph in Russia. Given the chance to play regularly, he could prove to be superb value for the kind of fees mentioned.

After falling behind a series of other very talented left-backs since leaving Lille, the 25-year-old could resurrect his career at Goodison Park, but only if Juve are too slow to get back into the transfer race.