EVERTON have joined the battle for Jamaal Lascelles, and are prepared to bid £30m in an attempt to land the Newcastle United skipper.

Marco Silva was unveiled as Everton’s new manager yesterday, and the Portuguese boss’ key summer priority is to improve his side’s defence.

Everton relied heavily on Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams last season, but the pair are both approaching their mid-30s and Silva wants to assemble a more youthful back four.

He regards Lascelles as an attractive centre-half option, and Everton officials are preparing a £30m offer for the 24-year-old.

Chelsea have spent the last two years monitoring Lascelles, but the Stamford Bridge club is currently in a state of limbo with doubts over Roman Abramovich’s ownership and the future of manager Antonio Conte.

As a result, Chelsea do not expect to be conducting any imminent transfer business, and Everton will attempt to steal a march by tabling an early offer for Lascelles.

Rafael Benitez is determined to keep Lascelles at St James’ Park this summer, having watched the defender blossom into a talismanic skipper over the last couple of years.

Lascelles was the mainstay of Newcastle’s defence last season, and Benitez will not want to lose him no matter what bids are received this summer.

The decision could be taken out of his hands though, with both Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley having previously conceded that every player has their price. Lascelles does not want to leave Newcastle and recently spoke about his satisfaction with life on Tyneside, but Ashley might regard £30m as a fair price for a player who joined Newcastle from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2014 in a joint deal with Karl Darlow that cost around £7m.

Lascelles is not the only Newcastle defender to be the subject of outside interest, with Spanish side Sevilla keen to sign Florian Lejeune.

Lejeune joined Newcastle from Eibar last summer, and the centre-half impressed in his first season in the Premier League.

His performances were flagged up in his homeland, and Sevilla want to give him the opportunity to make a rapid return to La Liga.

Money will not be a problem, with Sevilla set to cash in by selling French defender Clement Lenglet to Barcelona, and Sevilla’s new head coach, Pablo Machin, knows Lejeune well having worked with the Spaniard during his time at Girona.

As with Lascelles, Benitez will not want to lose Lejeune this summer. Again though, the decision could be made above him if Ashley and Charnley opt to make a quick profit, having signed Lejeune for £8.7m last summer.

Newcastle have received two loan offers for Henri Saivet from clubs based in Turkey, but have rejected the approaches as they look to sell the Senegalese midfielder.

Both Sivasspor and Bursaspor have made loan offers for Saivet, but Newcastle are working with agents to try to secure a permanent deal with clubs in France. However, Saivet’s £35,000-a-week wages will be a major obstacle to reaching an agreement with clubs in Ligue 1.

One player leaving is Jesus Gamez, with Newcastle having opted not to renew the Spanish full-back’s contract.

Gamez made three league starts during his two years with Newcastle, and took to social media to mark the end of his time as a Magpies player.

“It is time to say goodbye and especially thank you,” he said. “Thank you for all these two seasons. Thank you to our fans, to my team-mates and to the club, and all those who work there for their daily support, and for making my family and I feel like Newcastle is our home.

“I take back with me a beautiful experience, and a lot of friends and good memories which I will never forget.”