Coral Rumour Reel: Argentina defensive duo to Chelsea and Everton?
John Stones’ transfer request as at the centre of all gossip in the tabloids today, with Coral’s 10/3 top six finish chances Everton lining up Tottenham defender Federico Fazio as a contingency plan.
The Toffees are rumoured to have bid £5m for the 28-year-old Argentina international, who reportedly came close to signing for West Bromwich Albion only to see the deal break down over personal terms.
Capped three times by his country, Fazio has lost his place at Spurs under compatriot coach Mauricio Pochettino after Belgium counterpart Toby Alerweireld arrived at White Hart Lane this summer.
With Roberto Martinez also set to tie up the transfer of River Plate left-footer Ramiro Funes Mori, there could thus be an all-Argentine centre back pairing at Goodison Park going forward.
Should Everton resist Premier League champions Chelsea (10/3 to retain the title) and their pursuit of Stones, then Jose Mourinho will switch his attention to former Manchester United target Ezequiel Garay. Zenit St Petersburg have previously fended off interest in their star defender, who used to play for Real Madrid and Benfica.
Winning an Olympic Gold medal alongside Fazio at the Beijing games back in 2008, Garay, also 28, was also part of the Argentina roster that reached the World Cup and Copa America finals in successive summers.
Although 9/4 relegation candidates West Brom failed to sign Fazio, they are weighing up a move for QPR marksman Charlie Austin in the event wantaway star striker Saido Berahino is sold to Spurs.
Previously linked with London clubs Crystal Palace and West Ham United, plus Newcastle United, 26-year-old England call-up Austin scored 18 Premier League goals last term and has four in as many matches in the Championship following the Hoops’ relegation.
And finally, 11/2 Premier League title hopefuls Arsenal will have to fend off competition from at home and abroad to land their latest rumoured targets. Russia striker Aleksandr Kokorin is thought to be on the Gunners’ radar, but Manchester United, PSG, Tottenham and Zenit are all interested in the Dynamo Moscow frontman too.
Brazilian midfielder Lucas Silva, meanwhile, looks set to be loaned out by Real Madrid following their capture of Croatia player Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan. Arsene Wenger will have to beat Southampton, Marseille and Chelsea to his signature for a season-long loan.