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31st Aug, 2017 | 5:34pm

Everton given answer over £2.5m loan deal for striker - reliable journalist

By Will Butcher

Everton have been rebuffed in their pursuit of Benfica striker Raul Jimenez, according to a reliable journalist.

The Sun’s Phil Cadden claimed on his personal Twitter account that the 26-year-old striker was a target for the Toffees with only hours remaining before the 11pm deadline on Thursday.

It is said that Everton were willing to pay £2.5million to land the 57-time Mexico international on loan, but Benfica are now said to be desperate to keep their striker.

Jimenez has been a target for Everton for much of the transfer window, with Ronald Koeman likely to be in the market for a new striker before the deadline strikes.

Benfica’s number nine impressed for the Portuguese champions last season, scoring 11 goals and adding three assists in 32 league and cup encounters.

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He then impressed with Mexico at the Confederations Cup, scoring against New Zealand during a 1-1 draw and his reputation is continuing to grow higher in the world of European football.

However, Benfica are able to dictate Jimenez’s future with three years still remaining on his contract at the Estádio da Luz.

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The heel injury sustained by Spaniard Sandro Ramirez has highlighted the need for a new striker at Goodison Park, with only Wayne Rooney offering Koeman an option up front. Senegal international Oumar Niasse is expected to leave the club before the end of the summer transfer window, and that further extenuates the need for a striker. Step forward Jimenez, who has proven to be prolific with Benfica as well as impressing in European competition and that could boost the Toffees in the Europa League as they look to mirror Manchester United’s success last season.

In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees and Newcastle are in talks for Arsenal striker Lucas Perez.

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