Everton: Koeman rules out move for Hart, Gabbiadini update; youngster departs
The twists and turns of the transfer window continue at Goodison Park, with Everton dealt their latest blow by the news that Arsenal appear to have beaten them to the signing of Deportivo La Coruna forward Lucas Perez Martinez. According to the BBC, the Spaniard is set to undergo a medical today ahead of completing a £17 million move to the Emirates Stadium.
Toffees boss Ronald Koeman has also ruled out a move for Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, stating that he has “no interest” in the England international. The 29-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Merseyside after being ostracised by new City boss Pep Guardiola and with Everton thought to be in the market for a new shot stopper, the move seemed to make sense for all parties.
After impressive performances from Maarten Stekelenburg in the first two games of the Premier League season, it may be that Koeman is already happy with the options he has in this position. When Stekelenburg joined the Blues earlier in the summer, it was presumed that, alongside Joel Robles, he would provide back-up for a new number one of a similar calibre to Hart. However, Stekelenburg’s performances may have satisfied Koeman so much that he is willing to put his faith in the former Ajax keeper for the next few months at least.
One player that the Everton boss is purportedly interested in is Italy international Manolo Gabbiadini. The Daily Mail claims that the forward’s current club, Napoli, are believed to value him at around £30 million, but this has not deterred Everton from reviving their interest in a player they were linked with earlier in the week.
Missing out on Perez Martinez has forced Koeman to turn his attentions elsewhere as he seeks out a striker to provide support for Romelu Lukaku ahead of the current campaign. However, the Blues will face competition for Gabbiadini’s signature from Fiorentina, who are believed to have proposed a swap deal involving Nikola Kalinic.
Gabbiadini joined the Neapolitan club in January 2015 from Sampdoria, but has spent most of his time at Stadio San Paolo playing second fiddle to the prolific Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentine found the net 36 times in Serie A last season compared to Gabbiadini’s five; the latter’s record one that hardly justifies a £30 million price tag. Nevertheless, if Gabbiadini can play the role of the perfect foil to Lukaku in the same way that he did with Higuain then he may well be worth the money.
Finally, Everton have allowed 19-year-old midfielder Ryan Ledson to join Oxford United for an undisclosed fee. The academy product was hailed as the next big thing just a year ago and his departure will come as a surprise to many who expected him to follow in the footsteps of Ross Barkley in making the grade at Goodison Park.
After impressing for England at youth level, Ledson made his Everton debut in a Europa League tie at home to FC Krasnodar in December 2014, but failed to make another appearance for the club in the months following. He spent the second half of last season on loan at Cambridge United where his performances clearly caught the attentions of Oxford boss Michael Appleton.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the view at Finch Farm is that both Tom Davies and Kieran Dowell have progressed at a better rate over the past twelve months, with this being the reason that the club were happy to allow the youngster to leave. Ledson will link up with another former Toffees youngster, John Lundstram, in the U’s midfield as Oxford aim to consolidate themselves following last season’s promotion to League One. There is still hope for the youngster, however, with Adam Forshaw making a return to the Premier League with Middlesbrough this summer, it shows that not making the grade at Goodison is not necessarily the end of the world for young Scousers. However, only time will tell whether the decision to allow Ledson is one that Everton will live to regret.
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