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Santos president José Carlos Peres: Everton ‘want’ Yeferson Soteldo

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Wherever Carlo Ancelotti goes, big transfers follow.

With that in consideration, it becomes apparent that Everton will spend big over the summer on various, frail positions, as they try to keep up with the league’s powerhouses, turning the topic of conversation from “will they spend” to “who will they spend it on”.

Speaking to Calciomercato, Santos president José Carlos Peres revealed one of the Premier League sides’ cards, claiming that Everton “want” the services of their 22-year-old left winger, Yeferson Soteldo.

“All the big teams in Brazil have asked me [for him], Premier [League] teams like Everton want him, and we have many requests from Spain,” Carlos Peres said when asked about the interest for Soteldo.

Carlos Peres added that Soteldo, who joined Santos in January 2019 for a reported $3 million from Universidad de Chile, was recently offered to Inter Milan for $37 million. Inter’s sporting director, Piero Ausilio, however, turned down the offer.

“They asked me [for Soteldo], Ausilio himself, but it stopped in front of my request for 35 million (euros),” he added.

Despite never playing in Europe, Soteldo, surely, would bring with him high levels of dynamism to Goodison Park, if he were to leave Brazil over the summer. The winger has 17 caps for the Venezuelan national team, which he has also captained.

Since his arrival, Ancelotti has demonstrated that he has yet to secure an undisputed starter at left wing, dropping Bernard for Gylfi Sigurdsson a couple of matches into his tenure. Sigurdsson, who has been mostly an impact player in Everton blue, has a mere goal and two assists to his name in 26 league appearances this season.

From a distance, the left wing poses itself as a frail position, and no one currently at Everton has managed to call it their own.

The Italian manager has some gaps to fill this summer, and it sounds like Soteldo is the early frontrunner to do just that.

Premier League standings, state of play ahead of June 17 return

Premier League standings and schedule
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Hey world, remember us? Of course, you do. We’re the 20 teams of the 2019-20 Premier League season, and we’re coming your way in mid-June.

[ MORE: Key issues ahead of Premier League restart ]

The 2019-20 Premier League season will restart on June 17, the league confirmed Thursday, as Liverpool kickstarts its inevitable first domestic title of the PL era.

And six teams without eight points of the bottom of the table are squirming in their seats again knowing their time in the top flight may be limited to about a month.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The Reds’ lead is absolutely stunning, even if you haven’t forgotten it: Twenty-five points over Man City, with the reigning champions and current second-place side boasting a match-in-hand.

We have a date for that tilt with Arsenal now: June 17. Say City beats Arsenal to hit 60 points before Liverpool retakes the field. The Reds will clinch the PL title with two more wins or City non-wins.

Three of the top four should stay there unless Leicester City’s form dips considerably, but the race for fourth and fifth should be fierce. We may know whether fifth is a Champions League place after scheduled June 8-10 meetings to hear Man City’s appeal over its European ban.

With between nine and 10 matches left for everyone and eighth potentially being a Europa League spot, all the teams between fourth and 11th still have European hopes in the balance. That would change should Norwich City or Newcastle win the FA Cup, so call it 13 clubs.

The bottom of the table is just as wild, and will be even more congested if Aston Villa can come out of the gates with vigor and topple Sheffield United on June 17.

The action is going to come fast and often, with the league putting together a staggered schedule of kickoff times that will make matches even more of an all-weekend affair.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Liverpool 29 27 1 1 66 21 45 15-0-0 12-1-1 82
 Manchester City 28 18 3 7 68 31 37 9-2-2 9-1-5 57
 Leicester City 29 16 5 8 58 28 30 9-3-3 7-2-5 53
 Chelsea 29 14 6 9 51 39 12 7-3-5 7-3-4 48
 Manchester United 29 12 9 8 44 30 14 8-5-2 4-4-6 45
 Wolves 29 10 13 6 41 34 7 5-7-3 5-6-3 43
 Sheffield United 28 11 10 7 30 25 5 7-3-5 4-7-2 43
 Tottenham Hotspur 29 11 8 10 47 40 7 8-2-4 3-6-6 41
 Arsenal 28 9 13 6 40 36 4 7-5-3 2-8-3 40
 Burnley 29 11 6 12 34 40 -6 7-2-6 4-4-6 39
 Crystal Palace 29 10 9 10 26 32 -6 6-4-5 4-5-5 39
 Everton 29 10 7 12 37 46 -9 7-4-3 3-3-9 37
 Newcastle United 29 9 8 12 25 41 -16 5-6-3 4-2-9 35
 Southampton 29 10 4 15 35 52 -17 4-2-9 6-2-6 34
 Brighton & Hove Albion 29 6 11 12 32 40 -8 4-6-4 2-5-8 29
 West Ham United 29 7 6 16 35 50 -15 4-3-7 3-3-9 27
 Watford 29 6 9 14 27 44 -17 4-5-5 2-4-9 27

 Bournemouth 29 7 6 16 29 47 -18 4-5-5 3-1-11 27
 Aston Villa 28 7 4 17 34 56 -22 5-2-6 2-2-11 25
 Norwich City 29 5 6 18 25 52 -27 4-3-7 1-3-11 21

Transfer news: Tagliafico to Chelsea; Osimhen to Arsenal

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In the latest transfer news Chelsea have been linked with a move for Nicolas Tagliafico, while Arsenal are said to be keen on Victor Osimhen.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Starting in west London, Chelsea are said to be interested in Ajax left back Nicolas Tagliafico as the Argentine defender will be available this summer.

According to The Telegraph, Tagliafico, 27, will be available to buy for $28 million and he’s been linked with Arsenal in the Premier League and plenty of top clubs in Europe. Per the report, Tagliafico would be a much cheaper option than Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell.

Tagliafico is a solid, reliable defender who is calm on the ball and versatile. That is exactly what Frank Lampard wants at left back as his two current options Marcos Alonso and Emerson have been inconsistent with Alonso better going forward and Emerson slightly better defensively. Chelsea need to improve defensively and be it in a 3-4-3 formation or a 4-3-3 system, Tagliafico will slot in well.

At $28 million, Tagliafico would be a very shrewd signing and he’s been influential in the Ajax side which has impressed in Europe over the last two seasons, including in their run to the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League semifinals. With Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech already joining Ajax from Chelsea, the Blues could do a lot worse than picking up Tagliafico to solve their left back problem.

Osimhen
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Switching from west London to north London, Arsenal have been linked with plenty of attacking players in recent weeks, even though it appears Mikel Arteta will be strapped for cash in the upcoming transfer windows.

A report from La Replubblica says that Arsenal are battling with Napoli for 21-year-old Lille forward Victor Osimhen.

Osimhen has flourished at Lille over the past few years and Arsenal are looking to sign young, hungry, pacy forwards and the Nigerian international fits the bill.

Nicolas Pepe joined Arsenal from Lille last summer in a club-record deal of close to $88 million and per the report, Arsenal already owe Lille plenty of monthly payments on the deal for Pepe so maybe Osimhen’s transfer fee could be built into that payment plan?

Still, his price tag of over $60 million seems way too high for an Arsenal side who are looking at swap and loan deals galore, plus have agreed to a long-term wage cut with players and staff.

Is up front an area they are looking to strengthen? With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang maybe leaving, plus Alexandre Lacazette also said to be keen on a move, that leaves Arteta with youngsters Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli who have both impressed. Osimhen scored 20 goals in all competitions last season and 18 this season and Lille are said to be willing to sell on some of their best young stars as they did not qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season due to the Ligue 1 season being canceled in France and a points-per-game model used to determine the final table.

Osimhen could be available but could Arsenal afford him? Surely only if Auba and Laca both leave.

Key issues ahead of Premier League restart

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The 2019-20 Premier League season will restart on June 17, the league confirmed Thursday, but there are still plenty of issues to sort out ahead of the resumption.

‘Project Restart’ still has a little way to go, but we now have a date.

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The Premier League held in-depth meetings with all 20 clubs and, among other matters, June 17 emerged as the date games will return. Due to the coronavirus pandemic the Premier League season was suspended on March 13 with 92 games remaining.

[ MORE: Schedule | Reaction

As per the agreement, the two games in hand, Man City v. Arsenal and Aston Villa v. Sheffield United, will be played on June 17 so all teams are on 29 games played when then the rest of the games resume on June 19-21.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters confirmed the restart date of June 17, as long as everything goes as planned with a return to contact training and COVID-19 tests among Premier League staff and players.

There is still plenty to sort out though, so here’s a look at the key questions and issues which remain between now and the Premier League restart on June 17.


Will teams play games at home stadiums?

Some reports state that Liverpool will play home games at a neutral venue due to concerns from police about fans congregating outside Anfield considering their impending title victory. Other high-profile games such as Tottenham against Arsenal may not be played at home stadiums either as reports state that neutral stadiums such as Wembley may be used to host some of the higher profile matches. Simply put, the only thing we know about stadiums is that they will be empty for all of the remaining 92 games of the season.


What happens if there is a second wave of COVID-19 in the UK or within Premier League clubs?

The key part of Richard Masters’ statement was the first few sentences: “Today we have provisionally agreed to resume the Premier League on Wednesday 17 June. But this date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority.” The Premier League have to first and foremost make sure there is no rise in the number of COVID-19 positive tests among its players and staff.

Staff and players are all tested twice per week and 60 tests will be available to each club. So far, out of 2,752 tests from three batches, there have been 12 positive COVID-19 tests. If those numbers stay that way, or fall, the Premier League will be in good shape to return, as planned, on June 17. If they rise, the date will have to be pushed back. There can be no room for complacency from clubs and players over safety protocols during the next three weeks and beyond. That said, the situation in the UK has been the worst in Europe in terms of the death toll and if a second spike arrives in England, the plan for the Premier League restart would be put in jeopardy.


If the season is delayed further and the games cannot be finished, then what?

It has been reported, but not confirmed, that clubs agreed that an unweighted points-per-game model will be used to decide the final table if the season is curtailed. That means that the average number of points teams have won during their games played so far will be calculated in accordance with their remaining games to play. The Premier League have admitted they will have to come to a curtailment plan just in case the situation worsens in the UK or within their clubs.


When is the 2019-20 Premier League season scheduled to finish?

As of right now reports state that the Premier League aims to finish the season on July 25. That means six weekends and three midweek windows of action. That would then allow the FA Cup to resume in early August and clubs in European competitions could finish their UEFA Champions League and Europa League campaigns in August too, before the 2020-21 season begins.


Using five substitutes per game?

This is something the Premier League can do as the IFAB rules allow it and have been modified during the pandemic. Clubs will be able to use five substitutes per game, up from three, but subs can only be used in specified windows such as half time so the flow of the game isn’t disrupted. This has worked well in the Bundesliga and it is expected it will also work well in the Premier League, especially with so many games being played in a six-week period.


What about players out of contract?

This is something the Premier League clubs have already agreed on. With most player contracts running until June 30, we now know that the 2019-20 season will run beyond that date. Up until June 23, clubs and players can agree to extend the contracts until the end of the 2019-20 season as a short-term measure. However, players and club do not have to do this so some players may be out of contract and free to move on from July 1.

Spadafora: Coppa Italia, Serie A can return June 13

Serie A return
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Italian football can return June 13 with the second legs of the Coppa Italia semifinals and perhaps the final, followed by Serie A the next weekend.

Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora made the announcement Thursday, bringing calcio back to a country that’s been ravaged by the coronavirus.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In addition to stringent testing protocols and quarantine for club members who test positive, Serie A has plans in place for another wave of the coronavirus should it rear its ugly head. From Football-Italia.com:

“The FIGC also assured me that the Plan B (play-offs and play-outs) and Plan C (using the existing table) can be adopted in case of suspension. It is not up to me as Minister to decide, as that will be done by the FIGC. In the light of all those events, we can today say that the season can resume from June 20.”

Spadafora said he was hopeful the entire Coppa Italia could be completed before June 20, which would be a heavy burden on two of the following semifinalists: AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, and Napoli.

The winners could face three matches inside of eight or nine days.

Napoli leads Inter after one leg in Milan, while Milan and Juve drew 1-1 at the San Siro.

Juve had its four Coppa run broken by Lazio last season. The Old Lady leads Lazio by one point in the race for a ninth-consecutive scudetto.