Rafa Benitez on Serge Aurier links, talks with Farhad Moshiri, January plans, James Rodriguez’s Everton exit

The key talking points from the Toffees boss’ press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Norwich.

Former Spurs defender Serge Aurier. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Everton boss Rafa Benitez has poured cold water on a swoop for Serge Aurier.

The right-back has been linked with a move to Goodison Park as Seamus Coleman remains on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

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Aurier had his Tottenham contract cancelled by mutual consent on summer transfer deadline day but remains without a club.

But in his press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League visit of Norwich, Benitez insisted he’s not interested in signing players he described as short-term solutions.

The Toffees chief said: “I don't see a clear option with that. We have to think about the future and not just the short term.

“Now we have to find the solutions but we have to be sure the solutions aren't just for a couple of months, just the rest of the season and the next year.”

January transfer window

It proved a difficult summer for Everton in terms of recruitment due to being hamstrung by financial fair play restrictions and not being able to move some high earners on.

They also missed out on targets such as Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Rangers’ Nathan Patterson.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a target for Everton. Photo: Steve Welsh/Getty Images

The Toffees are expected to be active when the January window opens in just more than three months’ time and plans are already under way.

Benitez said: “The idea was very clear and plan before. We couldn't do it for different reasons. When I came, we knew what we were looking for. We were looking for wingers and some replacements for other positions.

“I can read newspapers and the TV, but especially local newspapers and know what the fans think and were thinking before.

“We were trying to manage things in a professional way. At the same time, we could bring in what we needed in some positions, we couldn't do it in other positions.

“Hopefully we can be ready for the next transfer window and improve the squad a bit. Competition is good so hopefully they can push and eveyone will be a little bit better.”

James exit explained

James Rodriguez’s protracted transfer saga finally came to an end on Wednesday.

Having been surplus to requirements since Benitez arrived in the hot seat, the ex-Real Madrid playmaker joined Qatari side Al Rayyan.

Everton playmaker James Rodriguez. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Offloading his reported £200,000 per week wages frees up funds for Everton.

Benitez said: “James is a very easy and complicated issue. When you had a player in the situation that we had, who could be available for just 50% of games overall, it’s not something we can manage. We have to think about the season, not just two-to-three games.

“It’s not easy to find good offers when you want. You have to manage them when they’re their.

“We couldn’t find the right ones before. This was the right one for him, he was happy with that.

“We have to do it to maximise our resources and have to make sure the long-term future of the club is protected.”

Moshiri talks

Since Rodriguez’s exit, Everton has held discussions with Farhad Moshiri about whether the extra cash will be reinvested.

The Blues’ owner has confirmed that will be the case.

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri. Picture: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Benitez said: “I think so. I had that conversation yesterday with Mr Moshiri.

“We are lucky enough to have owners who want to spend money. We have to spend it in the right way but they are very keen to spend the money and improve the team.

“We need players who’ll be adapted to the Premier League but find some quality to improve the team.

“They have to be good players in England and for Everton.”