Rumour Reel: Williams to become Koeman cornerstone, Arsenal after ex-Red Devils defender?
Holly Thackeray | July 31, 2016
The Community Shield is just a week away now, with the new Premier League season due to start on August 13th, meaning transfer business should begin to boom. Sunday’s papers do not disappoint in that regard, so refill your cuppa and dive into all the latest gossip with Coral’s rumour reel…
Williams on Everton wishlist?
Despite now supposedly having cash to splash, new Everton coach Ronald Koeman has been rather cautious about dipping into the Goodison Park coffers so far.
Yet that could all be about to change, as Swansea City skipper and centre half Ashley Williams is reportedly on the verge of swapping south Wales for Merseyside.
Rumour has it Wales defensive lynchpin Williams, now 31, is set to seal a transfer to the Toffees for around £10m – a bargain price if Everton are to also receive £50m from the mooted John Stones to Manchester City deal.
Backline leader Williams may be much older but, pie-in-the-sky potential aside, he’s a much more reliable rearguard marshal than young-gun Stones presently, and suited to the short-term improvement expected of the Toffees under their latest tactician.
Evans and Icardi intrigue Arsenal?
Meanwhile, one of the more unusual transfer tidbits floating around the football sphere this morning, is that Arsenal are interested in £15m-rated defender Jonny Evans of West Bromwich Albion.
German centre back Per Mertesacker could be sidelined through injury for around four months, meaning the Gunners may have no choice but to strengthen. While there have been plenty of links to Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi, it appears frugal Frenchman Arsene Wenger may also have another option up his sleeve.
Ball-playing Northern Ireland international Evans, 28, can operate both centrally and on the left and impressed at Euro 2016 for his nation, as well as with the Baggies last term – after being shipped off from boyhood club Manchester United for only £8m.
Now the former Red Devil could make the leap to a Champions League club for almost double that price if Wenger opts for the cheaper choice.
Arsenal are not expected to finish their summer business with a centre back, however, and whispers suggest they are back in for Inter Milan marksman Mauro Icardi as a striker search continues. If the Gunners fail to grab Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, Nerazzurri captain Icardi is believed to be a rather pricey £50m back-up option.
Mourinho’s Man Utd have trio of targets
Arsenal aren’t the only elite side eyeing a centre half however, as Jose Mourinho supposedly scours the summer market for a more experienced addition to the Red Devils rearguard. If only the Old Trafford outfit had a solid and reliable option like Evans on the bench…
Anyhow, tabloids tip Man Utd to have three targets in mind to fill the void – ranging from expensive and unlikely (Leonardo Bonucci of Juventus) to cheaper but uninspiring (Mourinho’s one-time Real Madrid charge Ezequiel Garay).
The third option of the listed trio, Southampton and Portugal’s Jose Fonte, could be a savvy signing though – but only if the Saints will allow another key cog to leave St Mary’s after manager Koeman and star striker Graziano Pelle both departed the south coast club for fresh challenges.
As for Old Trafford outgoings, another interesting rumour suggests Man Utd academy star Cameron Borthwick-Jackson could gain further top-flight experience by going on loan to West Ham United, after left back Aaron Cresswell’s injury sparked a search for a temporary replacement. Watch this space.