Leighton Baines could be on his way out of Everton this summer after falling down the pecking order in the last 12 months and being out of contract in the coming weeks. The 34-year-old is playing second fiddle to Lucas Digne and looks unlikely to stay, which could open the door to Nuno Tavares – Benfica’s young left-back who has been linked with a move to Goodison Park.
According to O Jogo (h/t Sport Witness), Everton have been scouting the 19-year-old and are looking to ‘reserve’ the Tavares and teammate Pedro Alvaro for a future move, potentially in the form of verbal or gentlemen’s agreement. The Toffees are weary of Tavares, however, and believe the teenager needs a lot more development before he’ll be an effective fullback.
Regardless, if Baines is allowed to leave this summer, Everton need to replace him as Digne will be unopposed at left-back. Tavares is described as a skilful player who whips in a good cross, but he leaves a lot to be desired defensively. The Portuguese u19 international plays for Benfica B of the Ledman Liga Pro and is yet to make a senior appearance for the club.