The rumours circulating around Swansea City star Gylfi Sigurdsson’s potential switch to Ronald Koeman’s Everton have continued to gather pace, after Paul Clement, manager of the South Wales club, has omitted the Iceland international from the clubs pre-season friendly fixtures.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Toffees boss Koeman announced on Thursday that he expected to hear news of a breakthrough from the club’s board regarding their approach for the former Reading, Hoffenheim and Spurs man, but it appears that fierce negotiations over an alleged £45million transfer still rumble on.
The Echo quotes Swansea boss Clement as saying: “No change since we last spoke. All parties would like it resolved, but my focus is on the players I’m working with and getting ready for the season.
“It’s best for everyone that he (Sigurdsson) doesn’t play in these pre-season games. But he’s training with the squad and if the situation changes he is going to be ready for us”.
Another man the Merseysiders have been linked with throughout the summer is Arsenal’s bustling centre-forward star Olivier Giroud, whose first-team prospects at the Emirates have come under doubt since the Gunners’ £52.7million signing of compatriot Alexandre Lacazette from Olympique Lyonnais.
Yet, with the likelihood being that Giroud would prefer to remain in North London and fight for a place in Arsene Wenger’s starting line-up, Koeman is ready to turn his attentions to another man on Wenger’s roster, former Manchester United youngster Danny Welbeck, according to the Mirror.
The Dutchman is still under pressure to replace the goals of the departed Romelu Lukaku despite the popular return of former talisman Wayne Rooney, and Arsenal may be keen to cash-in on the injury-prone Welbeck, who would be available for around £30 million, a profit on the £16 million they paid back in 2014 to lure the England international from Old Trafford.
Furthermore, with Koeman looking to freshen up his options out wide following the departures of Aiden McGeady and Gerard Deulofeu to Sunderland and Barcelona respectively, a wide-man is thought to be a priority on the club’s shopping list this summer, a vacancy that may be filled by Leicester City’s 21-year-old winger Demarai Gray.
The Leicester Mercury has linked Everton with Gray previously, along with Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund. The report claims Leicester are not keen on selling the midfielder following a story published by Sky Sports, which revealed that the youngster and his representatives held talks with the Foxes amidst growing frustration over his lack of game time at the King Power.
His first-team prospects at Everton may be equally uncertain, but the Toffees remain linked to the ambidextrous wide-man, following a failed £20 million bid from Bournemouth, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Finally, the Chronicle claims that the Toffees are monitoring the progress of Newcastle United’s 20-year-old goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, who starred alongside several of Everton’s youngster’s in the England Under-20 squad that was victorious at this year’s U-20 World Cup in South Korea.
Woodman proved one of the heroes in the final, saving a penalty as England held on for victory, and is touted as one of the country’s up and coming goalkeeping prospects. However, with Karl Darlow, Tim Krul, and Rob Elliot all thought to be ahead of the youngster in the pecking order at St. James’ Park, he is set to seal a loan-move away from the North East before the end of the summer.