Welcome to the Liverpool ECHO's Friday live blog for your latest Everton news, rumours and transfer gossip.
We have the latest on Everton's reported pursuit of forward Joshua Zirkzee, while Lille defender Mehmet Celik is also being linked.
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Dave Prentice and Gav Buckland join host Adam Jones for the Royal Blue podcast and to look ahead to Everton's FA Cup tie with Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.
Jones linked with the Newcastle
Former Everton assistant manager Graeme Jones is being linked with a move to Newcastle United.
The Chronicle is reporting that Newcastle have refused to comment on talk that they are about to add Jones to their back-room team.
The report goes on to claim that the club did not deny rumours coming from the South Coast that Steve Bruce is about to bring in a fresh voice to his staff.
Jones managed Luton Town last season but has this year been working as number 2 to AFC Bournemouth’s Jason Tindall, having previously worked with Martinez at Wigan, Everton and Belgium.
Parma are now reportedly ahead of Everton in the race to sign Bayern Munich striker Joshua Zirkzee.
A report by Tuttomercatoweb claims that Parma may lead Everton in the battle for Zirkzee, as they can guarantee the teenager more first-team football.
Interesting, though, Everton’s Director of Football Marcel Brands ruled out the club making any January signings last week.
While Fabrizio Romano has also been speaking about Everton’s interest in the Bayern teenager.
“I want to update because of Everton fans asking me every day about Zirkzee from Bayern Munich.
“Italian club Parma are still trying but Everton are interested, so interested. I know that Everton are denying this move, just [so] they can try to do something like finding an opportunity for this guy.
“So, there is nothing completed yet and they want to be 100% sure on Zirkzee. So, at the moment, there is nothing completed. But, Everton and Parma are in the race for Zirkzee. So, pay attention to Everton and Parma.”
Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed a number of key injury absences for Everton’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Sheffield Wednesday at Goodison Park on Sunday evening.
Lucas Digne, Alex Iwobi and Niels Nkounkou will be out of this weekend’s fixture - although the manager revealed that the former pair would be fit again for the Blues’ next match with Leicester in midweek.
Meanwhile, the boss reiterated that a number of longer-term absences from the Everton squad would remain that way.
Adam Jones has the full story here.
Carlo Ancelotti LIVE
We are going to be taking a short break from here and heading over to our LIVE Carlo Ancelotti press conference blog.
The Blues boss is likely to be asked for the latest on Dominic Calvert-Lewin, as well provide updates on the futures of Bernard, Jonjoe Kenny and Cenk Tosun, and address his side’s reported interest in Bayern Munich youngster Joshua Zirkzee.
Follow all the action here.
Burnley eye King and Kenny
Burnley have enquired about Bournemouth forward Josh King.
Sean Dyche’s side have struggled for goals this term, managing just nine in the top flight all season.
Lancs Live is reporting that there is interest in the Cherries frontman although no bid has yet been made.
The report also claims that Burnley have an active interest in Everton right back Jonjoe Kenny while Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall is another long-term target.
King has long been linked with a move to Everton, while in recent days West Ham and Sheffield United have also been linked with the forward.
Scott joins Everton on loan
Everton have confirmed the return of Jill Scott to the club on loan from Manchester City for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.
The midfielder spent seven years with the Blues between 2006 and 2013 and was part of the sides that won the Premier League Cup in 2007/08 and the FA Women’s Cup in 2009/10.
Since then the 33-year-old has gone on to prove herself on both a national and international level, winning seven trophies during her time at Man City.
Scott is second only to Fara Williams in terms of England appearances and has played for her country at four World Cup tournaments - with a staggering 149 senior caps and 25 goals under her belt for the Lionesses.
Adam Jones has the full story here.
Bernard latest from Italy
Bernard’s reported move to AS Roma could be in doubt after they were dumped out of the Coppa Italia.
The Serie A side were beaten by Spezia 4-2 in the round of 16, with the defeat coming just days after the club were beaten by arch-rivals Lazio in the league.
And now according to reports from Italy, Roma’s hierarchy is currently planning to put a halt on the transfer operations, especially those requested by Fonseca.
While a report by Corriere Dello Sport claims Roma will no longer pursue Bernard and that Tiago Pinto will strike the Brazilian’s name out and instead concentrate on other targets.
Everton and Ancelotti face season-defining week
Everton have three home matches in the space of a week starting with an FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday, before the visits of Leicester City and Newcastle United in the Premier League.
And our man Adam Jones writes:
“It’s not overstating the situation to suggest that the week facing Everton could eventually define their entire campaign.
“At Goodison Park, where form this term so far has been pretty inconsistent, the Blues are facing up to three huge matches in a row - with a whole lot riding on each one of them.
“Carlo Ancelotti has led his side into a brilliant position in the Premier League thus far, staying right in touch with the upper echelons of the table while still having games in hand on many of those around them.
“Win those matches and the situation looks even better, but the focus must first be on the task at hand.
“Everton have, in fact, looked more impressive away from home than they have on their familiar turf in the league over the course of 2020/21 up to this stage.”
Read the full story from Adam here.
Everton are reportedly still very interested in signing Turkish full-back Mehmet Celik.
Prince Rupert’s Tower is reporting that the Turkish international is very much on the wanted list of both Carlo Ancelotti and Marcel Brands.
However, the same report goes on to claim that Celik is wanted by several European clubs and one of them, Roma, appears to still be the front-runners for his signature.
Everton transfer window latest
Everton are facing up to a frantic final week of the winter transfer window as they desperately try to offload a number of players.
The market closes in 11 days’ time, at 11pm on Monday, February 1, but so far the Blues have only been able to move a clutch of youngsters out on loan.
Phil Kirkbride has the latest from the club ahead of the window closing.
Milik joins Marseille
Arkadiusz Milik has officially joined Marseille from Napoli.
The Ligue 1 side announced on Thursday evening the arrival of Polish international on loan from Serie A giants.
According to French Football News, Milik will wear the 19 shirt for his new club, which he has joined on an 18-month loan with an option to buy.
The report also claims that the transfer will then be €8m plus up to a possible €4m in bonuses, and the option in the contract is quasi-obligatory because it becomes active as soon as Marseille next win a point in league action, while Napoli also have the right to 20% of a future sale of the 26-year-old.
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