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Ghana star Waris attracting PL interest, with Everton now in hunt

Spartak Moscow forward Majeed Waris – currently on loan at Ligue 1 side Valenciennes – has been attracting interest from England in recent months, and now top four hopes Everton (11/8) are reportedly in the hunt.

The Toffees currently have Chelsea and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku temporally leading their line, but with the 20-year-old’s reputation improving with every performance, Roberto Martinez will be unlikely able to make the transfer permanent.

FA Cup second-favourites Hull City (7/2), newly promoted Leicester City and Newcastle United are also rumoured to be tracking the 22-year-old Ghana international. Since joining the French side on loan in January, he has impressed.

Despite Valenciennes languishing down in 18th place in the league – six points away from safety with six games to go – Waris has certainly been a shining light. His nine goals from 12 matches have helped his side to four victories and two draws in those fixtures since joining and, with eight in his last eight, he could yet help the club stay up.

That stunning form should also put him well in the frame to make Ghana’s 23-man World Cup squad in Brazil this summer. Diminutive attacker Waris already has three competitive goals in four games for his country, and was called up recently for the 1-0 friendly loss to Montenegro – in which he played the full 90 minutes. He would provide excellent backup for captain Asamoah Gyan.

Ghana have been placed in Group G of the World Cup, arguably one of the toughest, that also includes Germany, Portugal and the USA. The Black Stars are third-favourites to qualify from their pool at 5/2 and 10/1 to finish top.

They are 150/1 chances to go all the way and be the first African nation to win the tournament, but a last 16 elimination at 9/2 may be more realistic. You can also back them to replicate their showing in the last World Cup on South Africa, where they agonisingly bowed out in the quarter-finals (10/1).