Andre Gomes was thrilled to return for Everton and thanked well-wishers after making his comeback from an awful ankle injury.

The Portuguese midfielder, formerly of Barcelona, was seriously hurt by a challenge with Tottenham's Son Heung-min in early November.

A fractured dislocation required surgery, and Gomes was emotional weeks later when he revealed the messages of support he had received.

Yet just 112 days after he needed oxygen while being carried off the pitch at Goodison Park, Gomes was back on duty in Sunday's Premier League clash at Arsenal.

He came off the bench just before the hour mark and provided fresh impetus as Everton chased the game from 3-2 down.

They could not muster an equaliser and left Emirates Stadium empty-handed, but Gomes' introduction came as a huge plus point for the visitors.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed he wanted to start with Gomes, who was reluctant.

Ancelotti confirmed he now intends to play Gomes from the first minute against Manchester United next Sunday.

"Actually, I need to thank everybody," Gomes said, reflecting on his road to recovery.

"The team, they were great. My supporters – Evertonians – and also in general, football supporters, everyone has been wonderful with me.

"Also, other players, other professional players, ex-professional players as well.

"It gives confidence obviously and you feel like you have the support of the people and I just pushed myself to my limit.

"I wanted to be back as soon as possible and I'm glad I had the help of everybody around me."

Former Liverpool midfield hardman Graeme Souness praised Gomes for the way he got immediately stuck in, with a late yellow card for a feisty challenge proof of his returning physical confidence.

"He got them on the front foot," Sky pundit Souness said. "He was making cute and clever passes. He's moving the same as I remember him.

"He might need five games, he might need four games, to get up to speed. But you wouldn't accuse him of not being up to speed today.

"He was great for half an hour and it's onwards and upwards for him. The biggest thing is there was no change in his gait, the way he ran."

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hopes he can persuade Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay with the club after the striker's double secured a thrilling 3-2 win over Everton.

The former Borussia Dortmund frontman is 30 and has been linked with other clubs, including Inter and Barcelona, as he approaches the final year of his contract.

With only a slim chance of Arsenal qualifying for next season's Champions League, it would not be surprising if Aubameyang were questioning where he will spend the final peak years of his career.

But the Gunners see him as a big part of their future, and his clinical double against Everton was further proof of his value to the team, according to Arteta.

"He's our most important player," Arteta told Sky Sports News. "Stats-wise, there's no questions about the impact he has with this team, so as much as I can and the club can, we will try to convince him to stay with us."

Arteta saluted his team's spirit after they made it three wins in a week, having beaten Newcastle United 4-0 last Sunday and landed a 1-0 victory at Olympiacos on Thursday in the Europa League.

Aubameyang scored what proved to be the winner just 24 seconds into the second half.

"The best thing is the spirit we showed. That's coming back from Europe, three games in seven days, conceding a goal in the first minute, the way we reacted," Arteta said.

"The way we played for 60-65 minutes was exactly what I want from my team.

"And the resilience some of the players showed when they were absolutely knackered, and they kept going and going and going – this is exactly what I want."

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti criticised his team for allowing Arsenal's forwards such glaring goal chances, with Eddie Nketiah volleying a close-range leveller before Aubameyang plundered his brace, all after Dominic Calvert-Lewin had put them ahead in the first minute.

"I think the performance offensively was good, really good, we had a lot of opportunities. Defensively, it was really poor," Ancelotti said. "We conceded three goals and it's not acceptable to concede three goals. If you concede three goals like this, normally you lose the game.

"When we were able to score at the end of the first half we knew because they played on Thursday that they could lose energy at the end.

"They lost energy, but we were 3-2 down. We had opportunities to score but we conceded three goals too easily.

"The forwards played really well. We had two fantastic strikers and the full-backs pushed in the second half when there was more space.

"Offensively we were really good; defensively, no. We are [moving] in the right direction but these are mistakes where you have to learn."

Ancelotti indicated he had wanted to start with Andre Gomes in midfield, but the Portuguese playmaker was not in favour of playing from the off after returning from the ankle injury he sustained against Tottenham in November.

"When Andre came in, the team improved a lot with the possession," Ancelotti said.

"I have seen him in training. He trained without problem. I was sure he could play from the beginning. He was not so sure to start. He will start the next game."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was at his Sunday best to deliver a 3-2 victory for Arsenal in a Premier League thriller against Everton.

The forward’s double followed a close-range volley from Eddie Nketiah as Arsenal fended off an Everton side who lost for just the second time in the league under Carlo Ancelotti.

Everton stunned Emirates Stadium with a first-minute opener from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and also scored through Richarlison in stoppage time at the end of the first half.

But they were rocked by Aubameyang putting Arsenal back in front just 24 seconds into the second half, and despite a heartening return to action for Andre Gomes, the Toffees finished without reward.

Aubameyang's heroics took his Premier League goals haul to 32 in 38 games played on Sundays, compared to a more modest 17 in 36 matches on all other days.

Everton made a dream start thanks to Calvert-Lewin's overhead kick.

David Luiz flunked an attempted headed clearance from Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick as the ball reached the heart of the Arsenal penalty area, and it looped up perfectly for Everton's number nine.

Arsenal lost left-back Sead Kolasinac to an early arm injury but had buccaneering teenager Bukayo Saka as an ideal replacement.

The hosts perked up and it was Saka who provided the delicious left-wing cross that Nketiah volleyed in from close range for a 27th-minute leveller, his second Premier League goal.

Aubameyang then snuck behind the Everton defence to meet a fine throughball from David Luiz - the defender demonstrating one of his more reliable attributes - to nudge the Gunners in front six minutes later.

Everton made it 2-2 just before the break when Sigurdsson's mis-hit shot was headed on by Yerry Mina, and Richarlison, booked moments earlier after diving in late on Dani Ceballos, scrambled past goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

But Arsenal were back in front early in the second half when Aubameyang met Nicolas Pepe's cross from the right and thundered a downwards header past Jordan Pickford.

Just before the hour mark, Everton introduced Gomes off the bench in place of Morgan Schneiderlin, giving the former Barcelona midfielder his first outing since the shocking ankle dislocation he suffered against Tottenham in November.

Arsenal, coming off a long trip to Greece for Thursday's Europa League clash with Olympiacos, looked to be tiring. Calvert-Lewin should have put Everton level but Leno made a fine block to thwart the striker, and Mikel Arteta's side hung on for the points.

They almost had a fourth goal when Nketiah struck the bar after a Pickford error, though were relieved to see a late Calvert-Lewin header drift wide of the target.

Manchester City's Champions League ban could have some serious consequences.

While City are planning to appeal UEFA's two-season suspension from European competition after an investigation found the club broke financial fair play regulations, rivals are circling.

City's stars are reportedly attracting interest from far and wide.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA EYE BERNARDO SILVA

LaLiga champions Barcelona are targeting Manchester City star Bernardo Silva, according to the Transfer Window Podcast.

The report comes following City's Champions League suspension handed down to the Premier League giants by UEFA.

City team-mate Raheem Sterling has already been linked to Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca says Madrid are ready to make a move for Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga. The 17-year-old has starred for the Ligue 1 outfit and is reportedly valued at €70million.

Paul Pogba has also been linked to Madrid but Goal claims he could be offered a new contract by Manchester United, who expect the Frenchman to leave at the end of the season. Former club Juventus are also reportedly tracking the midfielder.

Paris Saint-Germain are looking to either Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri or Massimiliano Allegri amid uncertainty over the future of Thomas Tuchel, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Lille defender Gabriel is being monitored by Arsenal, Everton, PSG and now Leicester City, according to Le10 Sport.

- The Mirror says Arsenal are set to raise transfer funds through the sale of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and potentially Matteo Guendouzi as the Gunners eye Valencia's Carlos Soler and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.

Andre Gomes is available to feature for Everton against Arsenal on Sunday, with Carlo Ancelotti open to starting the midfielder.

Gomes has been out of action since November after suffering a serious ankle injury in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham at Goodison Park.

The playmaker's absence, along with injuries and suspensions to Morgan Schneiderlin, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fabian Delph, has left the Toffees lacking in midfield options at times in the intervening period.

However, the former Barcelona player returned to training in January and, after completing a 60-minute training match this week, has now been passed fit to return for Sunday's clash with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

Everton sit two points ahead of Mikel Arteta's side, with both clubs chasing European qualification, and Ancelotti is prepared to start Gomes if the player feels he is ready.

"Andre is available to play. He trained well, properly, with confidence and without problems," Ancelotti, who added Theo Walcott is likely to miss out through injury against his former club, told a news conference.

"My opinion is he is ready to play. Before the game we are going to speak together and decide whether he can start the game or if he goes on the bench.

"We have very important games. Now we have to focus on Arsenal, then we have Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. After we can see what is going on for Europe."

Everton are in search of a third successive Premier League win, with the Toffees having lost just one top-flight match since Marco Silva was sacked in early December.

Goals from Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin ultimately sealed a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace last time out, though Jordan Pickford's mistake had allowed Christian Benteke to cancel out Bernard's opener.

Ancelotti, though, has complete faith in the England international goalkeeper.

"To be England number one is a big responsibility," Ancelotti said. "He deserves this because, in my opinion, he is the best English goalkeeper.

"In the game against Crystal Palace he made a mistake but then a fantastic save. You can have a mistake, but you need the personality to move on quickly.

"Jordan is really important for us, he is a complete goalkeeper."

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly yet to begin talks with Neymar over a new deal.

The Brazil international was linked with a return to Barcelona before the start of this season, but ended up staying in Paris.

Yet after claims last month that Neymar wanted a new deal at PSG, it is reported no negotiations have been held just yet.

 

TOP STORY – PSG YET TO BEGIN CONTRACT TALKS WITH NEYMAR

PSG and Neymar are yet to meet to discuss a possible extension, according to Le Parisien.

Neymar, 28, is contracted to PSG until 2022, but there have been no talks over a stay beyond then.

The forward is expected to return from injury in PSG's Champions League last-16 first leg against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona appear to have found their replacement for the injured Ousmane Dembele. Sport reports the LaLiga giants have decided to pay Leganes forward Martin Braithwaite's release clause of €18million. Braithwaite has six goals in 24 LaLiga games this season.

- Bayern Munich are lining up a replacement for Jerome Boateng. France Football reports RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, who has a €60m release clause, has become a priority for Bayern.

- With Champions League football next season slipping away from Roma, the Serie A club may be unable to sign Chris Smalling. Corriere dello Sport reports Tottenham, Everton and Juventus are interested in Smalling, with Manchester United wanting €20m (£16.7m) for the 30-year-old.

- Two of Arsenal 18-year-olds are apparently attracting interest from Liverpool. Football Insider reports the runaway Premier League leaders are looking at Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka.

- Roma are considering a move for RB Leipzig right-back Lukas Klostermann, according to CalcioMercato. Klostermann, 23, has been capped eight times by Germany.

Everton's brilliant resurgence under Carlo Ancelotti continued with a comfortable 3-1 win over struggling Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The Toffees were in the relegation zone when Marco Silva was sacked in December, but victory against Palace – who have now lost three in a row – leaves Everton just five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Bernard put Everton ahead in the 18th minute when he volleyed home Theo Walcott's delivery and the hosts remained in charge until early in the second half, as Jordan Pickford allowed Christian Benteke's effort to go under him.

Everton were back in front soon after, however – Richarlison darting through the Palace defence before finding the bottom corner.

Palace did threaten another equaliser, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin converted from close range late on after Richarlison's headed attempt came back off the crossbar, wrapping up a fifth Premier League win in eight matches for Everton. 

At the Amex Stadium, an Adrian Mariappa own goal prevented Watford lifting themselves out of the bottom three, as Brighton and Hove Albion claimed a 1-1 draw.

Abdoulaye Doucoure gave Watford a 19th-minute lead with a fine finish from just outside the area after Aaron Mooy had squandered possession.

There were few other moments of excitement until Brighton levelled 11 minutes from time – Mariappa, under no pressure, emphatically sending an Alireza Jahanbakhsh cross into his own net.

Watford remain in the relegation zone, while Brighton stay three points better off in 15th.

Serie A strikers Romelu Lukaku and Ciro Immobile lead the line in FIFA Ultimate Team's latest Team of the Week.

Lukaku and Immobile are two of the form front men in European football, and the duo have earned recognition following their latest goalscoring exploits.

Inter striker Lukaku grabbed both goals in a 2-0 away win at Udinese on Sunday.

And Immobile matched that haul as Lazio thrashed SPAL 5-1, the Italy international's brace taking his 2019-20 league tally to 25 already.

The duo are far from the only big names in this week's selection, however, with Roberto Firmino, Jadon Sancho and Hugo Lloris also among the new in-form cards.

Find the full squad below.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) - 89

CB: Matthijs de Ligt (Piemonte Calcio/Juventus) - 87

LB: Alex Telles (Porto) - 87

CB: Yerry Mina (Everton) - 84

CM: Daniel Parejo (Valencia) - 88

RM: Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) - 88

CAM: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) - 87

CM: Santi Cazorla (Villarreal) - 86

CF: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) - 88

ST: Ciro Immobile (Lazio) - 90

ST: Romelu Lukaku (Inter) - 88

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Steve Mandanda (Marseille) - 83

CB: Kaan Ayhan (Fortuna Dusseldorf) - 81

RM: Robert Snodgrass (West Ham) - 81

ST: Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo) - 84

RW: Daniel Ginczek (Wolfsburg) - 82

ST: Kasper Dolberg (Nice) - 81

LW: Oussama Idrissi (AZ) - 81

RESERVES

CM: Alexandru Maxim (Gaziantep) - 79

CM: Alexandru Cicaldau (Universitatea Craiova) - 78

LM: Ahmet Engin (Duisburg) - 76

LM: Nathan Thomas (Carlisle United) - 74

LW: Said Benrahma (Brentford) - 80

A 5-2 defeat to Merseyside rivals Liverpool on December 4 left Everton in the Premier League relegation zone and facing the realistic prospect of a fight for top-flight survival.

The loss at Anfield proved to be the final straw for Marco Silva, who has flattered to deceive with Watford and now Everton following a spell at Hull City that he was largely praised for, despite suffering relegation.

Ten games on, and with a helping hand from interim boss Duncan Ferguson along the way, Carlo Ancelotti has ninth-placed Everton eyeing Europa League football next season.

The Toffees have lost one of their past 10 league games - seven of those under Ancelotti - compared to eight defeats in Silva's final 11 matches.

Indeed, only Merseyside rivals Liverpool have won more points over that time than Everton's 19, suggesting the Italian coach is well on course to transforming their fortunes.

Ahead of Saturday's visit of Crystal Palace, a side they are unbeaten against in 10 league meetings, we used Opta data to look at what exactly has changed under Ancelotti.


 

CALVERT-LEWIN AND RICHARLISON LEADING THE WAY 

Everton have scored in all seven league games during Ancelotti's short time at the club, netting 11 times in total at an average of 1.6 goals per game. 

That is in comparison to 20 goals in 18 games prior to the veteran manager's arrival - 1.1 per match - which is a clear improvement. 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been responsible for five of those 11 goals and Richarlison - absent for a couple of games with a knee injury - has also chipped in with two. 

Fellow attacker Moise Kean finally got off the mark in the 2-2 draw with Newcastle United, while Theo Walcott scored for the first time this season last time out. 

Many aspects of the Toffees' play has changed over the past six weeks, arguably none more so than the way they try to create opportunities for their attacking players. 

Everton's build-up attacks - an open play sequence containing 10 or more passes that either ends in a shot or at least one touch in the box - has increased from 1.2 per game to 2.3.

Direct attacks have dropped from 1.6 to 1.4 each match by comparison, meaning Ancelotti has got his side passing the ball more and - even more importantly - doing something with it at the end of attacking moves.

MORE CHANCES BEING CREATED 

Everton used a back five in Silva's final two games - defeats to Leicester City and Liverpool - but have since reverted to a 4-4-2, spearheaded by the ever-present Calvert-Lewin. 

Despite the shift in system and more emphasis on passing the ball around the pitch, there is still a reliance on set-pieces, counter-attacks and crosses into the box for their goals. 

That was highlighted in the dramatic win at Watford last weekend when Yerry Mina twice scored from a corner and Walcott rounded off a swift counter late on.

Many Evertonians will argue their side still lack a creator, which could be down to Ancelotti's reluctance to tweak his formation slightly. 

But as the Opta data shows, Everton are now creating significantly more big chances - from an average of 1.9 per game before Ancelotti to 2.9 in the seven games since. 

The Merseyside club's expected goals figure has also risen from 1.3 to 1.9 in seven games under the Italian, so improvements have been made in that regard as well.

LESS FOCUS ON PRESSING 

If Ancelotti has managed to get more out of his attack, the same is true at the opposite end of the field. In fact, it could be argued he has improved both aspects in equal measure. 

In perfect symmetry to the average goals-for stat, Everton have conceded 1.1 per game under Ancelotti compared to 1.6 before - a large number of those coming via set-pieces. 

Everton are tackling less and intercepting at an almost identical rate, yet they have two clean sheets in seven games, compared to two in their previous 10 outings.

One tweak that could explain this relative improvement is the number of pressed sequences, defined as an opposition move of three or fewer passes that ends within 40 metres of their own goal. That figure stood at 15.4 under Silva and Ferguson but has since dropped to 11.9. 

Combine that with the decline in high turnovers and it seems clear Ancelotti has told his players to focus less on pressing and more on keeping their shape.

The performances may have been mixed on the face of it, but Ancelotti is slowly transforming this Everton side and could have them aiming higher than the Europa League with more time and investment.

Liverpool opened up a whopping 22-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League as four second-half goals saw them cruise past Southampton 4-0 at Anfield on Saturday.

The Reds were lucky to not be behind at the break after a chaotic first half, but normal service was resumed after the interval as they racked up a 16th consecutive top-flight triumph.

Merseyside rivals Everton, meanwhile, came from two goals down to edge past Watford 3-2 in a thrilling game at Vicarage Road.

Antonio Rudiger scored twice as Chelsea and Leicester City played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium, while there were wins for Sheffield United and Bournemouth over Crystal Palace and Aston Villa respectively.

Brighton and Hove Albion came from two goals down to draw 3-3 at West Ham, while bottom side Norwich City held Newcastle United to a goalless draw at St James' Park.

SALAH AT THE DOUBLE FOR RELENTLESS REDS

Mohamed Salah scored twice as runaway leaders Liverpool produced a second-half surge to seal a comprehensive victory over Southampton.

Jurgen Klopp's world champions secured a 24th win from 25 top-flight games this season, with Salah striking twice in the last 18 minutes.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring in the 47th minute against his former club, unleashing a low drive past Alex McCarthy, before Jordan Henderson doubled their lead on the hour mark.

RUDIGER HEADS BRACE IN LANDMARK MATCH

Rudiger marked his 100th appearance for Chelsea with an unlikely brace but Frank Lampard's side were unable to secure maximum points.

Chelsea went ahead a minute into the second half at the King Power Stadium when Rudiger nodded in Mason Mount's corner.

Their lead lasted less than 10 minutes, Harvey Barnes drawing Leicester level with the aid of a deflection off Reece James to give Willy Caballero - picked ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga - no chance.

Ben Chilwell put the hosts ahead with a cool finish in the 64th minute, but the Blues claimed a share of the spoils to stay eight points behind third-placed Leicester when Rudiger headed home his second 19 minutes from time.

TOFFEES STING HORNETS WITH LATE STRIKE

Everton's Theo Walcott scored in the 90th minute to complete a remarkable turnaround against Watford.

Adam Masina and Roberto Pereyra had put the Hornets 2-0 up, but defender Yerry Mina scored twice in first-half stoppage time to haul Carlo Ancelotti's side level.

Everton's hopes of sealing all three points looked to be over when Fabian Delph was dismissed 13 minutes from time for two yellow cards, but Walcott steered home after a quick break to send the travelling faithful into raptures.  

Manchester United left it very, very late, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given the extra striker he wanted in the form of Odion Ighalo.

With a move for Bournemouth's Joshua King dead in the water, the Red Devils focused their efforts on a loan deal for the 30-year-old, who has been playing for Shanghai Shenhua since last February.

Ighalo's deal, which Omnisport understands does not include a purchase option, will give Solskjaer another option up front during the injury absence of Marcus Rashford.

He is expected to travel to England in the coming days before United publicly announce the signing.

Ighalo was far from the only major deal to be concluded late in the transfer window, though, as West Ham just managed to finalise the signing of Jarrod Bowen from Hull City for a reported initial fee of £22million.

Aston Villa also announced a new striker signing about 10 minutes before the window closed, Borja Baston joining on a free transfer from Swansea City.

Elsewhere in England, Tariq Lamptey took the decision to leave Chelsea and sign for Brighton and Hove Albion on a contract until 2023. The Seagulls have also brought back Alexis Mac Allister from Boca Juniors, where he was on loan.


LOANS GALORE

Sheffield United had a busy end to the window, securing the arrival of Panos Retsos - initially on loan but with the option of a permanent deal - from Bayer Leverkusen, while Ravel Morrison has been sent on loan to Middlesbrough, having made one Premier League appearance this season.

Leicester City have loaned Ryan Bennett from Wolves, with Filip Benkovic allowed to leave for Bristol City for the remainder of the campaign with a view to earning regular game time.

Everton have sent Jonas Lossl back to Huddersfield Town on loan, while Connor Wickham is also heading to the Championship, the Crystal Palace striker moving to Sheffield Wednesday on loan.

Wolves have secured the signing of Luke Matheson, who famously scored at Old Trafford in September as a 16-year-old, and loaned him back to Rochdale for the remainder of the season.

Leverkusen have also brought in a signing for the future, with Edmond Tapsoba arriving from Vitoria SC for a fee said to be between €16m and €18m.
 

SERIE A FLURRY

Italy's window closed a little earlier than some others and there was a flurry of deals around the deadline.

Marko Pjaca will get the chance to kick-start his career with Anderlecht, Juventus having allowed the winger to leave on loan for the remainder of the season as he looks to earn regular first-team football.

Milan have signed Alexis Saelemaekers, a highly rated 20-year-old from Anderlecht who arrives on loan with the option of a permanent move.

Fiorentina have had a busy end to the window. Kevin Agudelo has joined the Viola from Genoa on an 18-month loan deal, while Valentin Eysseric has been sent to Hellas Verona until June.

Maya Yoshida secured a switch to Sampdoria from Southampton, while Gaston Pereiro's move from PSV to Cagliari was ratified. He will be joined in Sardinia by Alberto Paloschi, with Alberto Cerri heading the other way to SPAL.

Gervinho, meanwhile, has taken another step in his nomadic career by moving to Al Sadd from Parma, who brought in Vasco Regini on loan from Samp.
 

BUSY BARCA

Barcelona will give new €10m signing Matheus Fernandes for time to acclimatise to LaLiga, spending the rest of 2019-20 with Real Valladolid.

Barca have also sent Moussa Wague on loan to Nice, who have the option of a €10m permanent deal, while Ligue 1 rivals Lyon have signed Camilo Reijers de Oliveira for €2m.

Kevin-Prince Boateng was a shock signing for Barca 12 months ago and the experienced forward is on the move again, this time heading to Besiktas on loan from Fiorentina.

Leganes bolstered their attacking depth with two loan deals, bringing in Roger Assale from Young Boys and former player Miguel Angel Guerrero from Olympiacos.

Getafe have landed Erick Cabaco on a permanent deal, the defender joining from Levante, Granada have signed Gil Dias on loan from Monaco, and Real Sociedad have sold Ruben Pardo to Bordeaux.

Celta Vigo, meanwhile, have loaned Emre Mor to Olympiacos, while a late, late deal that saw Nicolas Gaitan sign for Lille for the rest of the season was completed in time.

Carlo Ancelotti has insisted Everton have no plans to sell Richarlison in the close season.

The 22-year-old Brazil international was reportedly the subject of a €100million (£85m) bid from LaLiga giants Barcelona earlier this week, though both Everton and the Blaugrana have since dismissed the speculation.

Richarlison, signed for a reported £40m potentially rising to £50m from Watford in 2018, has become a key figure for Everton since his arrival at Goodison Park.

He scored 14 goals in all competitions in his first season and, despite Marco Silva's struggles and ultimate sacking, has found the net 10 times this campaign.

Everton boss Ancelotti sees Richarlison as a key player moving forward, with the striker having signed a long-term deal in December, shortly before Silva was sacked following a 5-2 defeat to Liverpool.

"I don't think it will be difficult to resist because it is enough to say no," Ancelotti told reporters when pressed on the possibility of selling Richarlison.

"There is no possibility because Richarlison is an important part of the future of Everton like the other young players we have – [Jordan] Pickford, [Mason] Holgate, [Moise] Kean, [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin.

"We have a lot of young players. This is the base from which the club has to build the future, and Richarlison is part of it.

"Everything can happen in football. If an offer arrives that you cannot refuse, and it is an offer that can improve the squad, then why not? But, now, I can say Richarlison is an important part.

"I was not here when he renewed [his contract] but the fact that he renewed made me happy because he's a fantastic player. He can play everywhere.

"Technically he can improve but his movement is really good, his heading is fantastic, I was surprised, and he has a lot of power in his legs. He is a really complete striker."

Ancelotti also confirmed Andre Gomes – who has been out since November after sustaining a serious ankle injury against Tottenham – could be in line to face Arsenal on February 23 after he returned to training.

The time might have come for Chelsea to cash in on one of their longest and most loyal servants.

According to reports, LaLiga giants Barcelona are eager to take winger Willian to Camp Nou before the January transfer window closes on Friday.

The experienced Brazilian has been with Chelsea since 2013, but his contract is due to expire at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY - BARCA WANT WILLIAN

Barcelona will test Chelsea's resolve with a late €23.6million (£20m) offer for Willian, Sky Sports have reported.

The Blaugrana are said to be are "long-term admirers" of the 31-year-old and hope to have him on board for the remainder of their title battle against Real Madrid.

Willian could leave Stamford Bridge on a free at the end of June if Chelsea choose not to cash in now.

Frank Lampard last month said contract talks were ongoing with the former Shakhtar Donetsk attacker, but he has not yet agreed a new deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- News of Barca's approach comes amid suggestions they have had an eye-watering €100m (£85m) offer for Richarlison rejected by Everton, rumours the Mirror indicates have been laughed off at Goodison Park.

- Chelsea, however, could be preparing their Willian replacement. According to the Daily Mail, the Premier League top-four aspirants are looking to sign 32-year-old Napoli forward Dries Mertens for a cut-price £6m fee.

- Barca, meanwhile, are trying to find a new home for Philippe Coutinho after learning Bayern Munich will not activate their €120m option to buy the on-loan playmaker, say Catalunya Radio.

- England international Danny Rose will spend the remainder of the season at Newcastle United after Tottenham accepted a £2m loan fee for the left-back, claim the Guardian.

- Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund must improve their bid from €22m to €30m to convince Serie A champions Juventus to part with midfielder Emre Can, claim CalcioMercato.

Barcelona appear unlikely to sign Everton striker Richarlison despite being linked with an £85million (€100m) move for the Brazil international.

According to Sky Sports, the Spanish giants have targeted Richarlison to bolster their attack, with injured frontman Luis Suarez set to miss the rest of the season.

The British broadcaster claimed Everton turned down a bumper bid for Barcelona, whose sporting director Eric Abidal is said to be a great admirer of the former Watford player.

However, Omnisport understands such a deal is considered within Everton's ranks as being unlikely to happen.

Richarlison signed a new five-year contract with the Premier League outfit in December, with the 22-year-old lined up to play a big part in the Merseyside club's future.

With Carlo Ancelotti installed as manager shortly before Christmas, Everton have high hopes they can push for the European places and keeping Richarlison is key to their plans.

Richarlison has scored eight goals and provided three assists in 22 Premier League games this season, after hitting 13 goals and laying on another six in the competition during his debut campaign for the Toffees in 2018-19.

Chelsea failed to make the most of their numerical advantage as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in a thrilling London derby that included a late goal from either side.

Much of the pre-match focus was on the two managers, with Frank Lampard beginning to come in for a bit of criticism after a difficult run, while Mikel Arteta has been accused of doing little to improve Arsenal's fortunes since coming in.

And there were plenty of hints as to why the sides are out of form, with the two sets of defences failing to inspire a great deal of confidence. 

Manchester City avoided dropping points, however, with a substitute sparing their blushes in a 1-0 win at Sheffield United, while there was plenty of drama at the bottom of the table.

DAVID LUIZ SEES RED BUT ARSENAL CLING ON

It was an unhappy return to Stamford Bridge for former Chelsea defender David Luiz, who was given a frosty reception and then sent off for a cynical foul that led to a penalty.

From that spot-kick, Jorginho opened the scoring in the 28th minute, suggesting Chelsea were set to cruise.

But a wonderful solo effort from Gabriel Martinelli restored parity just after the hour, leaving Lampard looking a little nervous.

Chelsea retook the lead with what they thought was a winner from Cesar Azpilicueta, the captain turning in a left-wing cross.

But Hector Bellerin's well-placed left-footed effort from the edge of the box found the bottom-left corner and secured the Gunners a share of the spoils, a commendable achievement given their disadvantage. The draw moves Arsenal up to 10th, while Chelsea go six points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United.

AGUERO THE DIFFERENCE FOR CITY

City handed Aymeric Laporte his first appearance since August at Bramall Lane, the Frenchman having recovered from a serious knee injury.

But he was given some rough treatment by the Blades – with Muhamed Besic catching him with a heavy challenge early on.

City did enough in the first half to take the lead, but Dean Henderson was in excellent form between the United posts, making several impressive saves and keeping out Gabriel Jesus' penalty.

But the visitors' persistence paid off. Sergio Aguero came off the bench to get the winner 17 minutes from time, finishing clinically after a glorious pass from Kevin De Bruyne.

That moves them six clear of Leicester City in third, though the 13-point gap behind leaders Liverpool remains daunting.

CHERRIES STOP THE ROT

After six matches – five of which ended in defeat – without a victory, Bournemouth finally got back to winning ways against Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday.

Harry Wilson got the ball rolling with a driven effort from the edge of the box after Dominic Solanke teed him up in the 36th minute.

Pascal Gross then put past his own goalkeeper just before the break, diverting in after a Bournemouth corner caused havoc in the visitors' box.

Callum Wilson then wrapped up a comfortable win 16 minutes from time, rounding Mat Ryan and slotting in unchallenged, with Aaron Mooy's late effort a mere consolation in a 3-1 defeat for the Seagulls.

It was not enough to move Bournemouth out of the bottom three, though – Aston Villa's last-gasp 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Watford decisive in that sense, as Tyrone Mings got the all-important clincher.

NEWCASTLE STUN EVERTON WITH COMEBACK

Everton looked to be easing to a 2-0 win over Newcastle United – but it all went wrong in stoppage time.

Moise Kean initially put Everton in front in the 30th minute with his first Premier League goal, though he required a little luck, as he capitalised on Newcastle's inability to clear the ball and then shot under Martin Dubravka, who probably should have done better.

The in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin got his 10th top-flight goal of the season early in the second half, but that two-goal cushion was insufficient.

Florian Lejeune was Newcastle's hero, first scoring with an acrobatic attempt after a Jordan Pickford error, then restoring parity with a volley that just about found its way over the line amid a scramble in the penalty box, both goals coming in stoppage time.

There was no such drama at Selhurst Park, however, as Southampton managed to hang on to their 2-0 lead in an ill-tempered affair, moving them into the top half of the table.

Palace's Wilfried Zaha might find himself in danger of retrospective action as well, after television cameras caught him poking James Ward-Prowse in the face during a half-time altercation.

Page 1 of 17
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.