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Transfer Rumor Roundup: West Ham, Brighton, Leicester City all on the prowl

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A number of Premier League clubs are using the coronavirus shutdown to take a closer look at transfer targets around Europe and even the globe, with ample time to discuss business and review tape.

According to Greek publication Sportime, Leicester City is looking closely at the possibility of replacing either Ben Chilwell or Ricardo Pereira with both the Foxes’ full-backs becoming hot commodities this season. They have reportedly identified Greek international Konstantinos Tsimikas of Olympiakos as a possible option. The 23-year-old has impressed this season, including good performances in Champions League games against Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspur, boosting his value to a reported $28 million.

Tsimikas was linked with Rangers in late 2019, but with his value increasing since then, he could be out of their price range now. The Sportime report states that while a couple of Serie A clubs are on his heels as well, the player is specifically interested in a shot at the Premier League, giving Leicester City a leg up on the competition. With his contract expiring at the end of the 2022 campaign, the time is now for Olympiakos to sell and receive solid value.

According to a report out of Australia, Brighton & Hove Albion is set to pull the trigger on a deal for young Sydney FC midfielder Cameron Peupion. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a deal is so close, “the next training session Peupion takes part in is likely to be with Brighton.”

The 17-year-old reportedly had a trial with Brighton after the U-17 World Cup where Australia qualified for the knockout stages before being downed by eventual finalist France in the Round of 16. The report does not state how much Peupion would set Brighton back but says he is extremely close to joining fellow Aussies Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan with the Seagulls. The report also name-drops former Brighton player Paul Reid who is now an assistant coach with Sydney FC as one of the driving forces behind the deal.

Spanish publication AS reports that West Ham has shown the most interest among a small group of suitors for Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez. The 23-year-old center-back has earned under 1,000 league minutes so far this season and is looking elsewhere for more playing time. Everton and Arsenal are both mentioned in the report as following Nunez as well, who has turned down a contract offer with his current deal expiring in the summer of 2023. He reportedly has a $32.6 million release clause in his current deal, which is partly the motivation for the club hoping to extend him.

Everton has struggled to get young Italian striker Moise Kean going on the field after securing him last summer from Juventus, but the 20-year-old still has clubs wishing to buy low and return him to his former self. Roma is reportedly one of those clubs, according to Italian tabloid Il Messaggero, with Kean’s performances for Juventus still on the Serie A side’s mind. He exploded onto the scene as a 19-year-old, earning him a trio of caps for the Italian national team.

The report states that Roma is looking for a new striker, a sensible move considering the team’s only true strikers, Edin Dzeko and Nikola Kalinic (who is on loan from Atletico Madrid), are 34 and 32 years old respectively. This could push them to explore Kean, and while Everton will likely push back as the striker is still just 20 years old, the Toffees could be tested if Kean desires a return to his home country.

Everton overcomes two-goal deficit, red card to beat Watford

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Watford’s bid to leave the drop zone was canceled out in unlikely fashion as resolute 10-man Everton scored a 3-2 comeback win at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Adam Masina and Roberto Pereyra helped Watford to two-goal lead, but unlikely hero Yerry Mina scored twice in first half stoppage time for Everton.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Theo Walcott scored late as Everton overcame Fabian Delph‘s sending-off to secure three points and ninth place on the table.

Watford sits 19th, two points off the safe spaces.


Three things we learned

1. Ancelotti’s contending Everton doesn’t quit: Down 2-0 away to Watford, Everton ironically showed how different they’ve become since firing former Hornets boss Marco Silva for Carlo Ancelotti. Mina stepped up with two clutch goals before the break. Delph’s second yellow card might’ve been reason to doubt the outcome, but the Toffees truly deserved all three points and Walcott delivered the goods. Everton is now a factor in the race for Europa League places.

2. Goalkeepers struggle: Ben Foster is one of the most consistent goalkeepers in this generation of Premier League backstops, and Jordan Pickford is England’s No. 1. You wouldn’t imagine either of those things are true in this five-goal match, which saw seven shots on target but just two saves (both from Foster). Woof.

3. Mina brace comes out nowhere: Mina entered first half stoppage time with one Premier League goal in 36 appearances for Everton. He left with three in what was a miniature version of Newcastle’s stunning second half comeback through Florian Lejeune.

Man of the Match: It’s Mina.


Gerard Deulofeu continued his remarkable return to form by setting up Masina’s goal, and the Hornets doubled their advantage through two other usual suspects.

Pereyra took advantage of a poor clearance and some quick thinking from Troy Deeney, cutting into the box to make it 2-0.

But hold on! Mina scored twice in four minutes of stoppage time, the first a close-range finish and the second an unmarked header.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Fabian Delph put hopes of any or all the points in the balance with a second yellow card in the 71st minute.

Remarkably, the Toffees got the winner. Moise Kean was the playmaker for Walcott’s stoppage-time winner.

Lejeune bicycle kick, stoppage time brace stuns Everton

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Carlo Ancelotti saw one of the best performances of his era at Everton die at stoppage time.

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Florian Lejeune scored a bicycle kick amongst two goals in third and fourth minutes of stoppage as Newcastle United rallied for a 2-2 draw against dominant Everton at Goodison Park.

Moise Kean and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored as the Toffees joined Newcastle in moving to 30 points. Everton has a better goal differential and sits 11th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The point for Newcastle defied a horrible 90, er, 92 minutes, but Steve Bruce won’t care much. The smash-and-grab comes three days after the Magpies beat Chelsea at the death.


Three things we learned

1. Moise Kean’s potential is thrilling: The young Italian’s career began with fits and starts, but the striker was the best player on the pitch well before he got his first Premier League goal. Kean then nearly had a “hockey assist” when Bernard chipped over the bar.

2. Longstaff brothers struggle, Saint-Max absence clear: Injuries forced Isaac Hayden out wide and Steve Bruce used the local brothers Sean and Matty in the middle of the pitch. They struggled mightily, and we’re sure Bruce would’ve been wondering if new signing Nabil Bentaleb might’ve been able to sneak into a kit for the second half. The manager eventually moved Hayden into the middle of the park to join the duo.

The Magpies congested backs and midfielders means they rely on Joelinton, Miguel Almiron, and especially Allan Saint-Maximin to provide threat. The latter was rested after his match-winning assist over 90 minutes versus Chelsea, and his absence was glaring again.

3. Edgy, in-form Calvert-Lewin a nightmare match-up: Everton’s young striker is in red-hot form, but he’s also got a red-hot fuse. Call him an Ashley Barnes with more potential. Calvert-Lewin scored a beauty, his 10th of the league season, but also clattered into Emil Krafth for an unnecessary tackle and yellow card.

Man of the Match: It was going to be Kean, but now it’s a joint honor with Lejeune.


Sloppy midweek moments early, as Miguel Almiron led a terrific run but mishit his pass to Sean Longstaff in the 18. At the other end, an Everton cross missed all of Newcastle’s defenders… and a few unattentive Toffees.

Kean zapped a low shot to force a low save from Martin Dubravka in the 18th minute.

Bernard popped a pass over Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez to meet Kean, who bundled past Dubravka for a deserved 1-0.

Joelinton turned a header over the bar in the 42nd minute off Isaac Hayden’s cross. Almiron then led another charge but Lee Mason had nothing for a possible blocking foul and Everton cleared the danger.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Kean fed Walcott to set up Bernard, who chipped a charging Dubravka but put it over the bar. Good goalkeeping.

The Toffees got their second goal when Lucas Digne spotted Calvert-Lewin, who had the better of Lascelles to curl a great finish past Dubravka.

Lejeune scored an overhead kick off a stoppage time scramble, and a silly Everton foul gave Newcastle one desperate chance at the death.

Pickford and the defense blocked three bids at a loose ball, but Lejeune’s fourth crossed the line.

Transfer rumor roundup: Eriksen, Vertonghen in demand; Mane to Madrid?

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A roundup of all of Wednesday’s biggest transfer rumors, including those involving Premier League clubs…

[ MORE: Mourinho was “rude to an idiot”; talks injuries, transfers ]

With six months now remaining on his Tottenham Hotspur contract, speculation over Christian Eriksen‘s future has once again begun. The Danish playmaker is widely expected to leave Tottenham in the summer, and a number of the world’s biggest clubs — including, but certainly not limited to, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus — have already been linked. Now, Inter Milan have reportedly entered the race to sign the 27-year-old.


Speaking of Spurs players now in the final six months of their contract, Jan Vertonghen will be out of contract this summer and there have been few, if any, reports of negotiations over a new deal. As such, Napoli and Ajax are each reportedly interested in signing the 32-year-old at a heavily discounted price this month.


Real Madrid have reportedly reached out and made contact with the representatives of Liverpool winger Sadio Mane. Los Blancos would be looking for a mega-bucks transfer this summer.


Frank Lampard has played down reports that Chelsea have placed Wilfried Zaha atop their January shopping list. The Crystal Palace winger has reportedly been on his way out of Crystal Palace for years now, and Chelsea is just the latest club linked with the 27-year-old. However, Lampard says Zaha is “not in our plans.”


Moise Kean hasn’t yet delivered the good since arriving at Everton from Juventus this summer, leading some to speculate that the 19-year-old Italian could leave Goodison Park in short order. Instead, reports out of Merseyside indicate that the Toffees have no interest in losing Kean following the appointment of fellow Italian, Carlo Ancelotti, as the club’s new manager.

Everton’s Moise Kean dropped due to discipline issues

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Everton striker Moise Kean was dropped for the 2-1 win at Southampton on Saturday after being late for a team meeting.

Kean, 19, was not in the Toffees squad for their first Premier League away victory since March and Sky Sports in the UK say that was because the Italian international has been having issues with his timekeeping.

Here’s some more information from our partners at Sky Sports News in the UK:

“The former Juventus forward was late for a team meeting and as a result was left out of the squad for the 2-1 Premier League victory at St Mary’s. Sky Sports News understands it is the second time Kean has been late for a team meeting.”

It is believed the player has apologized to Silva and his teammates for being late, but he does have previous, and not just with Everton. Italy boss Roberto Mancini left Kean out of the Azzurri squad in September after he and Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo were late for a team meeting at the U21 European Championships in the summer.

Somebody get Kean a new watch, or at least set a few more reminders on his phone!

Kean arrived at Goodison Park for $33 million this summer but has yet to score for the Toffees as Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun have all been preferred to him in the central strikers role.

This is a tough one. Kean is young and adapting to life in a new country, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, but rules are rules and Silva obviously runs a tight ship.