Amid rumours of further major signings for Everton, the club have allowed left-back Luke Garbutt to leave the club, with the 23-year-old joining Wigan Athletic on loan until January.
The Harrogate-born man spent last season on loan at Fulham but injuries disrupted his time at Craven Cottage. This summer he has clearly not done enough to impress Toffees boss Ronald Koeman, and with Leighton Baines and Bryan Oviedo the Dutchman’s first two options on the left side of defence, Garbutt has been farmed out yet again.
Although he made five appearances for Everton in 2014/15 and was thought to be the natural predecessor to Baines, the emergence of Brendan Galloway last season appears to have changed matters somewhat. At 23, time is now ticking by for Garbutt and a successful season at the DW Stadium looks to be his last chance to prove that he has what it takes to make it at Goodison Park.
Meanwhile, in the Blues’s pursuit of Moussa Sissoko, the Evening Chronicle are reporting that Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez has warned that the club will not part with the French international unless their £35 million asking price is met.
The 27-year-old is yet to feature for the Magpies this season and is expected to leave St. James’ Park before the end of the transfer window. Everton and Inter Milan are reportedly meeting the player’s representatives this week, but any attempts to negotiate a cut-price deal for Sissoko will not prove easy as his current club remain stubborn in their attempts to make a large profit on a player they signed for just £1.5 million.
The former Toulouse man has been described as the current “big name in the market” by Benitez, and although the player has issued a come-and-get-me plea to Real Madrid, it looks increasingly unlikely that he will be making the move to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer. Looking at his statistics from recent seasons, it is baffling to many that Sissoko believes he is good enough to play for the likes of Real Madrid. The reality is that he will probably have to set his sights a little lower if he is to avoid a season in the Championship.
Sissoko may have impressed for France during this summer’s European Championships, but he was largely anonymous last season as Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League. He managed just one goal all campaign and the fact that the Geordie faithful are also keen to see him depart speaks volumes for the impression he has left in the North East. With an asking price of £35 million, the Magpies look to be pricing themselves out, even in the current market, for a player that doesn’t seem to be willing to dig in when the going gets tough. Everton may be in the market for an attacking midfielder but they would be wise to turn their attentions elsewhere.
Finally, another of the Blues targets, Manchester City’s Joe Hart, is reportedly considering a loan move away from the Etihad Stadium after being dropped for the first two games of the season.
Everton and Sevilla were linked to the England goalkeeper earlier in the week but the BBC report claims that Hart is reluctant to make a decision on a permanent move with just two weeks to go before the transfer window is up. It is understood that new City boss Pep Guardiola has not built up any sort of relationship with Hart as he believes the 29-year-old does not possess the attributes to become the sweeper-keeper that he is looking for.
Claudio Bravo is expected to join in the coming days, leaving Hart open to leave the Etihad after making over 300 appearances for the club since joining from Shrewsbury Town in 2006. With Koeman looking for a new goalkeeper, despite Maarten Stekelenburg’s heroic performance against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, Hart’s situation could well play into his hands.
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