Everton has no coach, missed out on a major signing at the last minute, and soon the Premier League’s second-bottom team might lose their hottest young talent.
Meanwhile, Arsenal is considering a monster move for a silky Spaniard, while Spurs and Bournemouth also close in on important deals.
All that and more in today’s Premier League Rumour Mill!
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Lampard sacked after Everton struggles | 00:54
Everton young gun Anthony Gordon has missed training for a third straight day as he seeks to push through a move to Newcastle.
Tuesday was reportedly a planned absence, before he failed to return to Finch Farm for training the following two days.
The Toffees rejected a bid from Newcastle in the off-season, while Chelsea were also keenly interested in signing the 21-year-old forward for a deal worth up to £60m. He reportedly remains one of the Blues’ top targets, although a bid in the off-season appears more likely.
Newcastle, however, appear set to return with a bid around £40m ($A70m). Gordon, who has spent 11 years at Goodison Park, has 18 months remaining on his current contract – but Newcastle will push hard after Chris Wood departed for Nottingham Forest on a loan-to-buy £15m deal.
Gordon has three goals in 12 appearances this season (in a woeful Everton team with just 15 goals in 20 games), but has been pushed to the fringes of the struggling side in recent months – making just two appearances off the bench since Boxing Day.
Nevertheless, the versatile attacker is rated among the best young players in the league. In terms of players aged 21 or younger, he has the most shots on target per 90 minutes, the best shooting accuracy, and is second behind only Bukayo Saka for expected goals (xG) from open play (stats per Sky Sports). He also has the second-highest top speed of any Premier League player recorded this season, with a lightning-quick 36.61km/h – behind only new Chelsea signing Mykhailo Mudryk.
Meanwhile, the club is in talks with Marcelo Bielsa to become their next manager, after the Argentine manager was spotted landing in England. Former Burnley boss Sean Dyche is reportedly also in the running.
Everton also missed out on signing Arnaut Danjuma this week, the Villareal attacker signing on loan to Tottenham after an 11th-hour gazumping.
Losing Gordon mid-season could be an even bigger blow to Everton’s hopes of survival.
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SPURS HUNT ANOTHER GUN
After their last-minute poaching raid to sign Danjuma, Spurs aren’t having things go nearly as smoothly in their pursuit of Spanish wing-back Pedro Porro.
The 23-year-old flyer has been a standout for Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon this season, with three goals and 11 assists in 25 appearances in all competitions.
Spurs reportedly agreed contract terms with the player, but did not want to pay Porro’s entire £39.5m ($A68.8m) release clause upfront – though Sporting Lisbon were unhappy with an Tottenham’s attempt to pay in instalments.
But a recent breakthrough has both sides close to shaking hands.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano tweeted: “Pedro Porro’s contract as Tottenham player will be valid until June 2028, five year and half deal — and not 2027.
“Spurs and Sporting are closing in on the payment terms in 2/3 instalments and then … done deal. All parties confident to get it done”.
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ARSENAL COP BLOW IN BID FOR REINFORCEMENT
The league-leading Gunners are in the market for midfield reinforcements, especially after Mohamed Elneny’s knee injury which could rule him out for a lengthy period of time.
But with the days counting down to the transfer window closing, rival clubs are bumping up their prices to ward off interest.
Real Sociedad has now told Arsenal they will have to pay Martín Zubimendi’s entire €60m ($A90m) release clause, according to The Times.
Zubimendi has been sensational this season, typically playing in a more defensive central-midfield role. Comfortable on the ball and defensively strong, the 23-year-old has also notched a goal and two assists in 19 appearances (all competitions).
He was previously linked to Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Manchester United, while Chelsea is also reportedly interested in the rising star.
But Zubimendi only inked a five-year deal at his club in October 2022, and reports from Spain claim it will be hard to convince him to leave the club mid-season.
CHERRIES HUNTING BIG MOVES
Bournemouth appeared to be close to signing Villarreal forward Nicolas Jackson in a deal worth around £22.5m, according to reports. But Ryan Taylor of the Express wrote that his medical examination on Wednesday showed a hamstring injury that could be much worse than initially feared, while the player is also struggling with a hip problem. It could put an end to the move.
But the Cherries are also in the hunt for Roma playmaker and 11-cap Italy international Nicolo Zaniolo, who is also being hunted by Tottenham. The Express claims the Cherries had a £25m bid accepted by the Italian club, but it appears unlikely Bournemouth will splash out on both players.
Sky Italia said Bournemouth made an official £26 million offer, including add-ons.
IN BRIEF …