Valencia, Besiktas and Lille are now trying to sign Sergio Rico after Paris Saint-Germain elected to sell the goalkeeper Everton admire this summer, according to Calciomercato.
Mauricio Pochettino is refreshing his options between the sticks ahead of the new Ligue 1 season after signing Gianluigi Donnarumma. The Euro 2020 champion moved to France for free after leaving AC Milan at the end of his contract.
Donnarumma’s arrival at le Parc des Princes raised doubt over the future of new teammate Kaylor Navas. But ESPN soon noted the Costa Rican would stay and fight for the number one jersey. Now, that decision could see Rico – who was the number two last term – sold.
Valencia, Besiktas and Lille admire what Rico can offer in La Liga, the Super Lig and Ligue 1 respectively. The 27-year-old kept eight clean sheets in 13 appearances last season, of which he started 11. But the Spaniard now finds himself the third-choice under Pochettino.
Paris Saint-Germain will not keep Rico at the club to play third-string in goal, which Everton also seemed to admire. The Express reported recently that Rafa Benitez’s Toffees had held talks with the £44,000-per-week shot-stopper over moving to Goodison Park.
But Rico turned down Everton’s approach as he wants assurances of being the first-choice if he leaves Paris Saint-Germain. The one-cap international has not been the number one in any league squad since spending the 2018/19 campaign on loan at Fulham from Sevilla.
He kept five clean sheets in 29 Premier League games but could not help the Cottagers avoid relegation that year. Rico then joined PSG on an initial season-long loan, which they turned permanent last September for €6m (£5m).
Rico snub a blow for Everton in goal
Paris Saint-Germain signed Rico permanently under Thomas Tuchel last year for reasons that Everton would have also admired. GFFN noted he built strong relationships in the PSG squad and helped establish a positive atmosphere in the dressing room.
Rico was also reliable when needed against top opposition, including during the 2019/20 Champions League semi-final against RB Leipzig. But he will likely only see out one year of the four-year contract penned with Les Parisiens.
Everton would certainly have benefited from raiding Paris Saint-Germain for Rico to now add depth in their goal. Jordan Pickford stepped up magnificently last season after finally having a rival in Robin Olsen that Carlo Ancelotti felt could challenge him for minutes.
That competition saw Pickford thrive for club and country, including at Euro 2020. But likely now has a lesser challenge after Benitez signed Asmir Begovic to add experience and make up the numbers.
Valencia, Besiktas or Lille could now sign Rico, with their interest another challenge Benitez and Everton would need to overcome.