It’s all quiet on the transfer front at Goodison Park but it appears there may be an impending blow to one of manager Ronald Koeman’s potential January plans, with Roma appearing increasingly edgy regarding the future of midfielder Kevin Strootman, a compatriot of the Toffees boss.
Everton were interested in the Dutchman over the summer, and according to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport via the Liverpool Echo, Roma are eager to deter the Merseysiders and any other potential suitors by negotiating a contract extension with the midfield playmaker.
Strootman’s career in Italy has been blighted by injury, but the 26-year-old is admired by Everton boss Koeman, and is said to be keen on the idea of bringing him to Goodison. He has made nine appearances since his comeback from injury this season, scoring twice.
Roma are thought to want to extend the Dutchman’s contract by two or three years, which would ensure his stay in Serie A would run up to 2020 or 2021.
Elsewhere on the transfer front, there’s news regarding one of the club’s youngsters, with 20-year-old striker David Henen expected to be loaned out in January. Belgian outlet Walfoot via the Liverpool Echo has cited Ligue 1 leaders Nice as the most likely destination.
The Riviera club are the surprise league leaders in France after a summer of upheaval, and are six points clear at the top ahead of Monaco and PSG.
Away from the topic of transfers, Toffees boss Ronald Koeman has found himself at the heart of a spat with Republic of Ireland national team manager Martin O’Neill, after he has once more persisted in selecting Everton midfielder James McCarthy for Ireland’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Koeman was enraged that McCarthy had returned to Goodison Park following the last international break with burnout, and had subsequently aggravated an injury. The midfielder hasn’t featured for his club since returning from international duty and remains sidelined with a hamstring problem. Koeman criticised O’Neill for his handling of the player then, and was none too happy about his re-selection here either.
The Ireland boss has hit back however, with reports in the Echo claiming that O’Neill has fired a shot at the Everton boss by telling him to stop ‘bleating’ over the McCarthy call-up.
O’Neill said: “I have included James at this minute. Speaking to him, James is improving day-by-day. If the game for instance was this weekend, he wouldn’t make it. The following weekend? I would say he would be doubtful at this minute. He needs to get some proper training in.”
“He has been doing a little bit, but it’s one of those. I’ll leave him in for the provisional squad and we’ll see how things go. Obviously he wouldn’t make it this week and he would need to something a little bit before that.”
When asked what he thought of Koeman’s comments, O’Neill declared that the Dutchman was “massively overloaded” in his response:
“No I totally refute that as well too obviously, getting an opportunity to respond. Considering that James had declared himself fit, he played the first game. He didn’t come off through injury (against Moldova), he came off through tiredness.”
“And remarkably he actually trained on the very day at Everton that the manager was bleating about it.”
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