Lucas Digne reveals what he told Barcelona to secure Everton move

Everton new boy Lucas Digne has revealed how he BEGGED ­Barcelona to let him join the Blues.

Digne, the 25-year-old French defender who twice rejected the chance to sign for Liverpool earlier in his career, was happy to ditch Lionel Messi and Co when the Goodison club came calling with an £18million bid earlier this summer.

The only problem was that the Catalan giants ­refused to sell – until Digne made a plea to be set free.

“Of course, Barca is the biggest club in the world – and everybody knows that,” said the ex-Lille and Paris Saint-Germain left-back.

“But I came to Everton because I felt there was a very good project here.

“I had such a good feeling about the club that I said to Barcelona, ‘Please let me leave to go to join ­Everton ­because it’s the best thing for me and my ­career.’

“In the beginning, they didn’t want to sell me.

“But when the coach Marco Silva called me I had such a good ­feeling. I knew I wanted to come Goodison Park.

“Now I am here, I want to win a lot of games and, if it’s possible, a trophy too.

“This year the objective is to be better than last year and, if it’s possible, to win something.


“We all know the story of how long it has been since Everton won a trophy, but why not?”

Digne played alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG. A loan spell at Roma made him team-mates with Edin Dzeko, while he shared a dressing room with Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez at the Nou Camp.

When he helped France win the Under-20s World Cup five years ago, it was Paul Pogba who provided inspiration.

Digne said: “Training alongside great players has made me better – but, for me, Messi is the best in the world.

“Messi is pure talent. He sees everything before ­anybody else. You know what he wants to do, but you just can’t stop it.

“You close his left foot, he goes to the right.

“You close the right side, he goes with his left.

“We trained every day for two years and it was crazy.


“I also played against him twice for Roma against ­Barcelona. Let’s just say it was a hard game!”

In his spare time, Digne enjoys a trip to the cinema.

He namechecks The Green Mile as his favourite movie. “I love Tom Hanks,” he said. Yet, despite his love of all things Hollywood – he was ­impressed to learn that ­Silvester ­Stallone is an Everton fan – Digne refused to play the hero as he spoke ahead of the clash with West Ham today.

Digne would not talk about the his part in ­helping victims of the ­Barcelona terrorist ­attack last year, when 14 were killed and scores ­injured after a van ploughed into crowds on the city’s ­popular La Rambla.

Digne, who lived close to the scene of the ­outrage, said: “I cannot speak about this out of ­respect for the victims and their families.”

His mood changed, ­however, when the subject of Liverpool was brought up.

“I can tell you that I said ‘no’ to ­Liverpool twice – because it’s true,” he added.

“Everton fans have sent me a lot of messages on Twitter about it.

“It was a good start for me here, but I am only telling the truth.

“The first time Liverpool asked about me was when I was a young boy and I went to Paris from Lille.

“The second time was when I went to Barcelona.”

Everton’s Lucas Digne visited Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School in Bootle, Liverpool, to meet children taking part in the Premier League Primary Stars scheme. Everton in the Community deliver the scheme in schools across Liverpool and Knowsley, using the power of football to inspire children to learn. Primary school teachers can apply now for free kit and equipment, visit www.plprimarystars.com for more information.

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