Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of wantaway Everton defender Lucas Digne.
Digne has been the subject of much interest this month after falling out with Toffees manager Rafa Benitez. Newcastle and Chelsea had been among his admirers but in the end Villa have won the race for his signature.
As reported by 90min, the West Midlanders had a £25m offer accepted by Everton on Wednesday and things have moved swiftly to completion since then.
“When Lucas became available we jumped at the opportunity to bring him to the club. To sign a player of his pedigree and quality in the January window is a great addition to our squad and his arrival excites me and everyone associated with Aston Villa,” Steven Gerrard told AVFC.co.uk.
Digne becomes Villa’s second signing of the transfer window after they previously secured the marquee capture of Philippe Coutinho.
Prior to his spat with Benitez Digne has been one of Everton’s most consistent performers since arriving from Barcelona in 2018.
Overall he made 127 appearances for the Toffees and seemed to enjoy his time on Merseyside. On Wednesday night he claimed that Benitez had single-handedly ‘destroyed a beautiful love affair’.
“Only one year ago I signed a new contract with the ambition of staying in this club for a long time, giving everything for my club, for the development and project, that I believed in – and for the passionate fans,” he posted on Instagram.
“My dream was helping the club back where it belongs. Wearing the captain’s armband in some matches always made me proud.
“Everything must come to an end. I just did not expect it to end this way. What has happened and some things that was said about me in the last month has made me very sad. But I will not enter a war on words with anyone.
“Sometimes it only takes one person from outside to destroy a beautiful love affair.”