Everton’s failure to adequately replace Romelu Lukaku in the summer transfer window has been cited as one of several reasons for their sluggish start to the season. The Toffees have drawn seven blanks in all competitions already this season and their new manager, Sam Allardyce, has his beady eye on Watford’s club captain and striker, Troy Deeney, as a potential January recruit. Deeney has started just four Premier League matches for Watford this season and irritated his manager, Marco Silva, with very public and disparaging remarks he made regarding Arsenal’s lack of “cojones”, an appraisal one suspects might have had Allardyce nodding in agreement. A robust, physical and no-nonsense striker built in the Kevin Davies mould, one suspects Deeney and Allardyce might get along like a house on fire.
Everton are also preparing to hitch their skirts in the direction of Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi, who has fallen out with his manager, Eduardo Berizzo, since being substituted in his side’s draw with Liverpool last month. The £25m-rated France international midfielder has not played since Sevilla’s epic second-half comeback two weeks ago and has since been exiled from the first-team squad. Arsenal are also understood to be interested in giving him a new home. And on an unsurprisingly busy morning of transfer speculation regarding Everton, considering the identity of their new manager, the club – along with West Ham and Swansea City – are also being linked with a move for Augsburg’s 27-year-old Ghanaian right-back, Daniel Opare.
The fear of losing their best players to top Spanish sides gnaws constantly at Liverpool fans, who will be unimpressed to hear that Mohamed Salah’s international manager, Héctor Cúper, has confirmed that Real Madrid are keeping tabs on the Egypt winger. “I’ve received confirmed news revealing Real Madrid’s interest in Salah, but let’s not rush things,” he said in an interview on Egyptian TV. “To me, he is in an amazing position right now.” With most Liverpool fans resigned to losing Philippe Coutinho come season’s end, it looks like another close season of fretting over another potential exit looms for denizens of Anfield.
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur both think the cut of the jib of unsettled young Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos is particularly well tailored, while both north London clubs are also monitoring the progress of Trabzonspor’s 20-year-old Turkey international Yusuf Yazici. Arsenal’s popular but underused French striker Olivier Giroud has been urged to find a new club in January in a bid to help him nail down a place in France’s World Cup squad. “It’s clear that he is not getting enough playing time and Didier has already spoken to him about it,” said France’s assistant manager Guy Stephan, of a striker who has played just 234 minutes in the Premier League this season. “He has to find a solution in the coming weeks. A departure? It is up to him. He’s been very good in the past [for France] and he’s played a lot of games and scored very important goals, so now he has to play.” Could that summer move to Everton that failed to materialise be resurrected in January?
Spanish media outlet Don Balon have said that, having grown tired of dealing with Liverpool’s bean-counters in their efforts to secure the services of Coutinho, Barcelona will turn their attention to Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen. Perhaps naively, they see the Denmark international as a cheaper and more low maintenance option, but if they think dealing with the Liverpool hierarchy is hard work wait until they get a load of Daniel Levy. And finally, reports in Italy say Real Madrid have set their hearts on Juventus striker Paulo Dybala and will attempt to turn the Old Lady’s head with an offer of Toni Kroos plus cash.