Frank Lampard knows he is facing a big challenge at Everton but believes he can turn their fortunes around.

Lampard, who was dismissed by Chelsea just over a year ago, was appointed as Everton's manager on Monday.

The Toffees parted ways with Rafael Benitez in January, after an ill-fated 200-day spell in charge for the former Liverpool boss, who won just one of his last 13 league games.

Indeed, Everton earned just 19 points in 19 Premier League matches under the Spaniard, their lowest tally at the halfway stage of a season since 2005-06.

A 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa, under the temporary stewardship of Duncan Ferguson, saw Everton drop to 16th in the Premier League, four points above the relegation zone.

Lampard is under no illusions as to the scale of the task at hand, and recalled a phrase coined by David Moyes, who dubbed Everton "the people's club" back in 2002.

"In footballing terms, we're in a position that the club doesn't want to be in," Lampard told a news conference ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie with Brentford.

"I've got a lot of belief in the squad, I've been watching their games closely from the outside, so I'm under no illusions. I feel that we have a squad that can improve quickly. It starts with work on the training ground, with the mindset of the group.

"I understand that in the short term the job is to improve our league position. In the long term, it's clear that it’s a club with huge ambition, history, a huge fan base and a joint desire to improve towards the new stadium.

"There's a lot of work to be done, but I'm very proud to be given this opportunity.

"I've had really positive conversations with the owner, the board and the club in general from the first moment we started to speak.

"Bill Kenwright was fantastic in those conversations as well, and I can see why people hold this club in such regard, because it's the people's club."

After hosting Brentford, Everton face two huge games in quick succession, taking on Newcastle United away and Leeds United at home next week.

Lampard is thrilled at the support he has received so far from Everton's fanbase, but knows results have to pick up.

"I don't expect universal support, but I hope that people will see how I have a work ethic and how I'm going to embrace this job in terms of everything I do," he said.

"I think if they see a reaction on the pitch, which is my job, then I hope that support will continue. We'll be defined this season by the work we put in on the training ground and how we can be united between players, club and fans.

"There's 18 games to play. Nobody is happy with the run we've been on, but I have to bring an element of calm to the players and club and look at ourselves and say there's huge amounts of talent. If I didn't believe in that, I wouldn't be here."

 

Lampard, whose win percentage with Chelsea in the Premier League was 52.4 per cent, better than any Everton manager has achieved in the competition, was also asked what lessons he has learned from his spell in charge at Stamford Bridge being cut short.

"At Chelsea in reflection I had a really enjoyable 17 months," he said.

"You look at the small details, could you have done this and that better, so hopefully I can bring those experiences of my career so far. I want to get better, and make the players better and this club better, and that’s all I have to look for. Rather than looking back, look forward at what I can do here."

Everton have confirmed that Frank Lampard's former Chelsea and England team-mate Ashley Cole has joined the club's coaching set-up.

Lampard was officially appointed as Everton's new manager on Monday, just over two weeks after Rafael Benitez was sacked following a dismal run of results.

Everton swiftly made moves to back Lampard, bringing in midfielders Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli.

However, Lampard has also brought with him a significant amount of experience in the form of an array of coaching staff.

Benitez's departure capped a turbulent period at Everton, who parted ways with their director of football Marcel Brands, and the majority of the recruitment department, in December. Dan Donachie, the club's director of medical services, had left the previous month.

Duncan Ferguson took interim charge for Everton's defeat to Aston Villa last month and was assisted by goalkeeper coach Alan Kelley and academy coaches Leighton Baines and John Ebbrell.

While Ferguson and Kelley have both stayed on to assist Lampard, Baines and Ebbrell have returned to their academy roles, with Paul Clement, a long-time assistant to former Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti, Joe Edwards, who left Chelsea to join Lampard as assistant manager, and Chris Jones, the new head of performance, all appointed.

They have now been joined by former Arsenal, Chelsea and England defender Cole as a first-team coach.

"I'm delighted to add Ashley into my backroom team. Everyone knows about his superb playing career and what he has achieved in the game," said Lampard.

Cole finished his playing career at Derby County under Lampard, and moved into a coaching role with the Rams before following his former manager to Stamford Bridge in October 2019. Last year, he became assistant to Lee Carsley within England's Under-21s set-up.

Cole said: "I was thrilled when Frank asked me to join him at Everton. 

"The chance to link up again with Frank was another huge draw. He is an excellent manager and leader. With the rest of the staff here, we have everything in place for what we want to achieve together."

Everton face Brentford in the FA Cup on Saturday in Lampard's first game in charge, before taking on Newcastle United in a crucial clash at the bottom of the Premier League.

Everton have completed the signing of Dele Alli from Tottenham, with the England midfielder becoming Frank Lampard's second acquisition as Toffees manager.

Lampard was only officially confirmed as Everton's manager on Monday, though the club have moved quickly to back the former Chelsea boss, whose initial task is to guide the Merseysiders away from the Premier League relegation scrap.

Donny van de Beek came in as Lampard's first signing, with the Netherlands midfielder joining on loan from Manchester United for the rest of the season.

And Everton have further bolstered their midfield options by bringing in Alli, who has endured another frustrating season at Tottenham.

The transfer was not confirmed until more than an hour after the 23:00 GMT cut-off point for deals to go through in the Premier League, with Everton being granted extra time to finalise a deal after requesting permission.

It has been reported that the 25-year-old, who has agreed to a two-and-a-half-year deal at Goodison Park, could cost Everton up to £40million should various clauses be triggered.

"I'm delighted to have signed for Everton, a huge club with a great fanbase and history," Alli said. "I'm eager to get started and can't wait for my first game in an Everton shirt.

"I'm looking forward to helping the team and the opportunity to work with the new manager Frank Lampard."

One of the brightest talents in the Premier League when he burst onto the scene under Mauricio Pochettino in 2015-16, Alli's influence at Spurs has faded in recent seasons.

Alli scored 10 top-flight goals in his first season at Spurs, and improved that tally to 18 in 2016-17. He has not managed double figures in the league since, however, and went the entirety of last season without finding the net in the competition.

He was utilised in a three-man midfield by Nuno Espirito Santo at the start of the season, and scored from the penalty spot in a win over Wolves in August, though that is the only league goal he has managed in 657 minutes of action, and he has not featured regularly under Antonio Conte.

Yet Lampard is seemingly confident he can reinvigorate the former MK Dons player, who has also lost his place in Gareth Southgate's England set up in recent seasons.

Alli joins an Everton side sitting in 16th place, just four points above the relegation places. Like Van de Beek, he is cup-tied for Lampard's first match in charge against Brentford in the FA Cup on Saturday, but his debut could come against fellow strugglers Newcastle United on February 8.

Donny van de Beek is expecting "to learn a lot" from new Everton boss Frank Lampard after completing a loan switch to Goodison Park from Manchester United.

The Netherlands international has been given an opportunity to kick-start his career with Everton in the second half of 2021-22 following a frustrating time at United.

Van de Beek failed to start a single Premier League game for the Red Devils this term and has started just 19 games in all competitions since joining from Ajax in September 2020.

To put that into context, 19 others have started more games for United over that period, with Bruno Fernandes leading the way (76).

Indeed, only once has Van de Beek started back-to-back games for the Red Devils in all competitions – against Istanbul Basaksehir and Southampton in November 2020.

But the 24-year-old believes he can enhance his game by playing under Lampard, who was officially appointed as Rafael Benitez's successor earlier on Monday.

Lampard is the highest-scoring midfielder in Premier League history with 177 goals and is fourth overall in the competition for assists with 102.

"I had a really positive meeting with the new coach. We have the same ideas about football and he had a lot of influence on my decision," Van de Beek told Everton TV.

"I played against him when I was at Ajax, and he was at Chelsea [as head coach], so he knows me as a player. He thinks I have qualities that can help the team.

"I can learn a lot from him because he was a little bit in the same position – a midfield player who scored a lot of goals. He can help me a lot, so I think I'm in a good spot.

"I want to improve with Everton. There are always things that can be better and I work hard every day to do that."

Van de Beek has scored just two goals and assisted the same number across 50 appearances for United in all competitions.

He has shown glimpses of his quality when used, though, with Fernandes (0.66) the only United regular to create more big chances per 90 minutes than Van de Beek (0.34).

And with an opportunity to showcase the talent that made him one of Europe's top properties when at Ajax, Van de Beek is relishing the chance to get going for Everton.

"I hope to bring my football qualities, my passing, and, of course, scoring goals," he said.

"It is a big part of my game to score and give assists and I will try to do that again. And it is not only offensive, you have to defend as a midfielder and I can do that as well.

"I want to show my qualities, my strengths, to the people in England – but especially the fans from Everton. The most important thing is we win games and go up the table. 

"We have good players in the team and the talent and ability to go up in the league. But, for that, we need to work hard and I want to be part of this.

"Everton is a big club, with big players, the history and amazing fans. The club has everything to go up and be higher in the table.

"I played at Goodison twice last season without fans… it will be lovely to see the stadium full."

Van de Beek, who could make his debut in next Tuesday's Premier League visit to Newcastle United, added: "I'm fit. I train a lot for myself and I was training a lot with the team at United. 

"I have a few days to train fully and I'm sure I'll be there [ready for Newcastle]."

Everton's managerial search is over, with Frank Lampard having agreed to take over at Goodison Park.

Lampard's appointment comes just over two weeks after Rafael Benitez, who managed the former England international at Chelsea, was sacked following a 2-1 defeat at Norwich City.

Everton lost to Aston Villa last week under the temporary stewardship of Duncan Ferguson, and sit 16th in the Premier League, just four points above the relegation zone.

There is no doubting Lampard has taken on a big job, unlike anything so far in his fledgling managerial career. 

He took Derby County to a play-off final in his first season in management in 2018-19, only to lose to Aston Villa. Then, Chelsea came calling, with the allure of his former club too strong to turn down.

Lampard's first season, in which he was unable to sign players due to a transfer ban imposed on Chelsea, saw the Blues reach the FA Cup final, where they lost to Arsenal, and qualify for the Champions League.

Big investment followed ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, but Lampard was unable to get the new signings to click and was dismissed in January 2021 with Chelsea ninth in the Premier League, 11 points adrift of the top.

While his replacement Thomas Tuchel went on to win the Champions League, Lampard has been out of management for just over a year. But now he is back, Stats Perform uses Opta data to assess what he might be able to bring to Everton.

OVERALL RECORD 

Lampard's win percentage stands at 48.2 across his two roles so far.

He oversaw 57 matches in all competitions at Derby, winning 24 and suffering 16 defeats for a win percentage of 42.1.

Lampard's Derby scored 90 goals and conceded 70 in return. Meanwhile, he had a 52.4 per cent win ratio while in charge of Chelsea.

Relying on youngsters such as Reece James, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham – as well as being able to call on Chelsea's more-experienced stars – the Blues netted 163 goals across 84 games, at an average of 1.9 per match.

Lampard won 44 matches in charge of the Blues, losing 23, while he had 17 draws (the exact same as at Derby), with his team conceding 106 times.

His Premier League record stands at 28 wins from 57 games, with 11 draws and 18 defeats. Chelsea had a top-flight win percentage of 49.12 and registered 1.67 points per game.

That win percentage would put Lampard well clear of any manager Everton have had in the Premier League era.

Indeed, Carlo Ancelotti – with a win percentage of 43.1 from 58 league matches – is Everton's best manager in that regard, with David Moyes (40.5) and Ronald Koeman (40.4) the only Toffees bosses to have won over 40 per cent of their games in charge in the competition.

In contrast, Benitez's win ratio of 26.3 per cent was better only than Mike Walker's (19.4).

 

HOW HIS TEAMS PLAY

Lampard liked to deploy a 4-3-3 shape in his Chelsea career, and with the deep resources he had at Stamford Bridge it was never a case of square pegs in round holes, as has been the case at times at Everton lately. He was often spoiled for choice and had players, such as Kai Havertz, who were able to be effective anywhere across midfield or the forward line.

Chelsea achieved 421 high turnovers in Lampard's 18-month first spell as a boss in the Premier League, with 61 of those resulting in them having a shot and five delivering a goal. Manchester City, Liverpool and Southampton managed more over the same period, but Chelsea did well in this area. This season, Everton are low achievers when it comes to such turnovers. Only Newcastle United (127) and Watford (128) have had fewer than Everton (132), while Lampard's new side are one of just four not to score from a high turnover in the Premier League this term (together with Aston Villa, Norwich City and Burnley). It is asking a lot to transform a team in mid-season, but Lampard will want extra effort in this area.

Benitez tended to favour a 4-2-3-1 shape at Everton, but Lampard will likely revert to the shape he knows best, with the squad he inherits looking ripe for a shake-up.

 

POSSIBLE SIGNINGS

Time is running out for Lampard to make a major dent in the transfer market, but you can bet that will be a priority for the new boss before the window closes on Monday.

Reports have already indicated midfield will be a priority, with Manchester United bench-warmer Donny van de Beek close to arriving on loan, while Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley have both been linked with their former boss, along with Tottenham's Dele Alli, who seems in need of a fresh start.

Those are four major talents, who since the beginning of last season have started a mere 67 Premier League games between them (Loftus-Cheek, 29 for Chelsea and Fulham; Barkley, 19 for Chelsea and Aston Villa; Alli, 15 for Spurs; Van de Beek 4 for United) and contributed only seven goals and five assists in the competition.

Signing any one of those would be putting a lot of trust in past glories, which many would suggest is exactly the same punt Everton are taking with Lampard himself.

Frank Lampard has been appointed the new manager of Everton.

The former Chelsea star and head coach has agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal to succeed Rafael Benitez, who was sacked this month following the 2-1 defeat to Norwich City, which capped a run of one win in 13 Premier League games.

Lampard was said to be one of three final candidates for the role, along with Vitor Pereira and caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson, with the last round of interviews having taken place on Friday.

"It is a huge honour for me to represent and manage a club the size and tradition of Everton Football Club," Lampard said after his appointment was confirmed on Monday.

"I'm very hungry to get started. After speaking to the owner, Chairman and the Board, I very much felt their passion and ambition. I hope they felt my ambition and how hard I want to work to bring it together.

"You can feel the passion Everton fans have for their club. That will be hugely important.

"As a team – the competitive level that the Premier League brings and the position we are in the table – we certainly need that.

"It's a two-way thing. I think Everton is a unique club in that you can really understand what the fans want to see. The first thing they want is fight and desire and that must always be our baseline.

"My first message to the players will be that we have to do this together. We'll try to do our job and I know the fans will be there backing us."

Lampard was sacked by Chelsea in January last year after failing to mount a realistic title challenge despite a pre-season investment of close to £250million in the playing squad.

The former England midfielder won 28 of his 57 league games in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Among Chelsea bosses during the ownership of Roman Abramovich, only Andre Villas-Boas in 2011-12 (48.1 per cent) and Guus Hiddink, in his second spell, in 2015-16 (33.3 per cent) had lower win percentages than Lampard (49.1 per cent).

Thomas Tuchel took over at Chelsea and went on to secure a top-four finish, reach the FA Cup final and win the Champions League.

Lampard's old England team-mate Wayne Rooney was also linked with the role, though the ex-Everton player said on Friday he had declined the opportunity to interview for the job.

Everton are 16th in the table after 20 matches in 2021-22, just four points above the relegation zone.

Frank Lampard has been appointed the new manager of Everton.

The former Chelsea star and head coach has agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal to succeed Rafael Benitez, who was sacked this month following the 2-1 defeat to Norwich City, which capped a run of one win in 13 Premier League games.

Lampard was said to be one of three final candidates for the role, along with Vitor Pereira and caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson, with the last round of interviews having taken place on Friday.

"It is a huge honour for me to represent and manage a club the size and tradition of Everton Football Club. I'm very hungry to get started. After speaking to the owner, Chairman and the Board, I very much felt their passion and ambition. I hope they felt my ambition and how hard I want to work to bring it together.

"You can feel the passion Everton fans have for their club. That will be hugely important. As a team – the competitive level that the Premier League brings and the position we are in the table – we certainly need that. It's a two-way thing. I think Everton is a unique club in that you can really understand what the fans want to see. The first thing they want is fight and desire and that must always be our baseline.

"My first message to the players will be that we have to do this together. We'll try to do our job and I know the fans will be there backing us."

Lampard was sacked by Chelsea in January last year after failing to mount a realistic title challenge despite a pre-season investment of close to £250million in the playing squad.

The former England midfielder won 28 of his 57 league games in charge at Stamford Bridge. Among Chelsea bosses during the ownership of Roman Abramovich, only Andre Villas-Boas in 2011-12 (48.1 per cent) and Guus Hiddink, in his second spell, in 2015-16 (33.3 per cent) had lower win percentages than Lampard (49.1 per cent).

Thomas Tuchel took over at Chelsea and went on to secure a top-four finish, reach the FA Cup final and win the Champions League.

Lampard's old England team-mate Wayne Rooney was also linked with the role, though the ex-Everton player said on Friday he had declined the opportunity to interview for the job.

Everton are 16th in the table after 20 matches in 2021-22, just four points above the relegation zone.

Vitor Pereira has confirmed he has been interviewed by Everton over the vacant managerial position and declared: "If they want me, they must call me."

Everton sacked Rafael Benitez earlier in January after a dismal run of one win in 13 league games left them six points above the relegation zone.

That cushion has now been reduced to four points after Everton lost to Aston Villa on Saturday, with Duncan Ferguson having taken interim charge.

A host of names have been linked with the job, though all with vastly different profiles. Former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez, sacked in 2016, was an initial candidate, but the Belgian FA rebuffed Everton's approach.

Fabio Cannavaro is also said to have been interviewed, similarly Frank Lampard. Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, confirmed last Friday that no approach had yet been made to Derby County's administrators.

However, widespread reports on Monday claimed that Pereira was the favoured choice of owner Farhad Moshiri, whose running of the club has come under scrutiny from fans. 

Those reports were met with some outcry, with a photo spread via social media on Tuesday showing graffiti at Goodison Park reading: "Pereira out. Lampard in."

With suggestions on Wednesday that Everton were still weighing up options, Pereira – who was dismissed from a second spell in charge of Fenerbahce in December – took the somewhat surprising decision to speak to Sky Sports.

"The club asked me to come for a meeting. I had a few interviews, not just one, with different people at the club, the board. We discussed everything, and I gave them my point of view about the club, the team," Pereira explained.

"I think they were enthusiastic to what I proposed. An intense game, pressing, possession. We need to give confidence to the players, to the team and the fantastic supporters. This is what I proposed to them. What I felt in the meetings was that they were positive."

Asked if he had been informed whether he would be getting the job, Pereira said: "They have other candidates and this is a time for decisions.

"No, [they have not told me]. Just to wait for the decision, be calm, and they are grateful for the interviews, that's all.

"What I want to tell you is that all of my career, I worked under pressure. About the decision? It's something I can't control.

"I built my career with passion, organisation, competence. This is what I can offer to the club. I give 100 per cent of me, football for me is 24 hours. This is my life, my passion. 

"I will move forward with my life. If they want me, they must call me. That's all."

In response to the graffiti, Pereira said: "This is the first time in my career that I see this kind of thing. My CV speaks for itself. The club is not in a good position and the supporters have passion, this passion is the power of this club.

"[Critics] don't know me very well, they don’t know my work, know me as a person. I worked in a lot of countries, different clubs, different levels, got several titles.

"I don't take this as a personal attack."

Pereira has won four league titles across spells in charge of Porto, Olympiacos and Shanghai SIPG.

Everton have bought themselves time while they pursue a successor to Rafael Benitez by appointing club legend Duncan Ferguson as caretaker manager.

A run of three defeats in four top-flight games resulted in former Liverpool boss Benitez being sacked at the weekend, with Everton plummeting worryingly close to the Premier League drop zone.

Reports have indicated 16th-placed Everton, who have never been relegated from the Premier League, could interview Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard as they hunt their next boss.

Lampard did well in his first management job at Derby County before experiencing mixed fortunes as Chelsea boss, while Rooney is catching the eye in difficult circumstances at Derby this season.

Former Everton manager Roberto Martinez has also been linked with a return to the role.

Ferguson, who was already on the Everton staff as assistant manager, may also come into contention. Everton said he has been installed for their "upcoming games", suggesting a permanent appointment is considered quite some way off. The Toffees said an announcement would come "in due course".

Everton revealed Ferguson's short-term role on their official website, after the former striker took first-team training on Tuesday.

It is his second stint as caretaker, having filled in between the sacking of Marco Silva and the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti in December 2019. The fiery Scot led Everton to a win over Chelsea and draws with Manchester United and Arsenal to give the club a lift ahead of Ancelotti coming in.

His first game of this spell in charge will be the home clash with Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa on Saturday.

Everton then do not have a game scheduled for two weeks, with their next assignment due to be an FA Cup home game against Brentford on February 5, followed by a Premier League trip to Newcastle United three days later.

Former Everton players John Ebbrell and Leighton Baines will work alongside Ferguson, as will ex-Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Alan Kelly.

Real Madrid are well-known admirers of Kylian Mbappe.

The Spanish giants have been linked with a January move for the winger.

Mbappe has indicated he will leave Paris Saint-Germain in the near future.

 

TOP STORY – REAL TO REMAIN PATIENT FOR MBAPPE

Real Madrid will not chase a deal for Paris Saint-Germain's Mbappe during the January transfer window, claims Mundo Deportivo.

Los Blancos have been pursuing the 22-year-old France international who is out of contract at the end of this season.

There had been speculation about when Madrid would move for Mbappe, given his contract status, but it is anticipated they will patiently wait until the off-season when he is a free agent.

ROUND-UP 

- Sky Sports Germany claims that Juventus could make a move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel in January. The report claims that Witsel is keen on a quick move.

- Philippe Coutinho is set to snub cashed-up Newcastle United in January as he does not want to leave Barcelona, claims Sport.

- Barcelona are set to table a €40million offer for Red Bull Salzburg forward Karim Adeyemi according to Sport1, although Dortmund remain favourites to sign the teenager.

- Wolverhampton are ready to cash in Spanish winger Adama Traore in January with Barcelona circling to rival Liverpool for his signature, reports 90min.

- Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is not in consideration for the vacant Rangers head coaching position following Steven Gerrard's exit, reports Sky Sports.

Steve Bruce's days at Newcastle appear to be numbered.

Rumours of possible replacements are swirling, with plenty of managers having been mentioned. 

Frank Lampard may well lead the race.

 

TOP STORY – LAMPARD FAVOURED TO REPLACE BRUCE

Frank Lampard is the leading candidate to step in once Steve Bruce is inevitably shown the door at Newcastle, The Sun reports. 

The Telegraph claims Lampard and former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre top the new owners' wish list.

The 43-year-old Lampard was sacked by Chelsea in January 2021, about six weeks after Favre, 63, left Dortmund. 

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are keeping a close eye on Ousmane Dembele, who is out of contract at Barcelona at the end of the season, Mundo Deportivo reports.

- Dortmund and RB Leipzig are the top potential landing spots for 19-year-old Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi, reports Sky Sport Germany.

- Feyenoord will make another effort to prise Amad Diallo from Manchester United in January, according to The Sun, after a potential loan move fell through due to injury during the last transfer window. 

- Club Brugge and Belgium midfielder Charles De Ketelaere is drawing interest from Milan and Napoli, says Calciomercato, with Everton and West Ham also monitoring the 20-year-old.

- Former Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero is expected to finalise his deal with Venezia on Tuesday, reports Fabrizio Romano. 

Fikayo Tomori has credited Milan legend and current technical director Paolo Maldini with helping him improve his game after earning an England recall.

Tomori looked destined for a promising future at Chelsea, returning to the club in 2019-20 to play under Frank Lampard having also linked up with him the previous season at Derby County.

In the Championship, Tomori played 47 times as Derby got to the play-offs, and he proved an able back-up option upon his return to Stamford Bridge as he made 15 Premier League appearances – all as a starter – in 2019-20.

But things soon changed, the signing of Thiago Silva at the start of 2020-21 pushing Tomori further down the pecking order – when January came around, he had played in just one Premier League match and was seemingly heading out of the door.

Tomori joined Milan on loan and quickly established himself in the team, striking up a solid partnership with Simon Kjaer. He could not help the Rossoneri to a first Scudetto in 10 years, but they did end their seven-year Champions League hiatus and Tomori's loan was made permanent.

No team in Europe's top five leagues have kept more domestic clean sheets than Milan (eight) since the start of May, and Tomori's role landed him a recall to the England squad, with the 23-year-old lauding the influence of club great Maldini.

Speaking to reporters ahead of England's World Cup qualifier against Andorra, Tomori said: "When he [Maldini] was speaking to me, I was like, 'Wow, it's Paolo Maldini'.

 

"There is that pressure knowing he's watching every game, he's there at the training ground every day, so as a defender I want to impress him.

"When I was midway through my loan, we had a chat, I asked what he thinks about my game, what I need to improve.

"He's really engaging with all the defenders, and having a legend like that around, you're going to listen. It's a nice thing to have him around, and he's been a big help."

For a while it seemed Tomori and Lampard enjoyed a similarly close bond given their time together with Derby and then the Chelsea first team.

But shortly after leaving Chelsea, Tomori said in an interview that he felt the treatment of him by Lampard – who was sacked a matter of days after the defender left – was "personal".

However, Tomori says he has not spent time dwelling on such struggles.

"To be fair, since I've been at Milan I've not really thought about it," he continued. "It was difficult, when you aren't able to play, it is difficult.

"Being able to overcome that, forget about that is part of the reason why now it's going so well. I didn't really dwell on it, I moved on. It's part of football.

"I've a really good support system, and now I've overcome all that I want to keep progressing.

"Every player wants to play, and when that opportunity came at such a big club like Milan, I was so happy, excited, and I'm really happy it's gone so well so far.

"We've started the new season well and the club has shown a lot of faith in me. I'm happy, confident and feeling really settled, and it's led me to be here [back with the England squad]."

Everton continue their search for Carlo Ancelotti's replacement.

One emerging candidate has plenty of familiarity with Liverpool. 

Could the Toffees turn to a former rival? 

 

TOP STORY – BENITEZ IN MERSEYSIDE RETURN?

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has emerged as a strong contender to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Everton, the Daily Mirror and other outlets report. 

As the Merseyside club's interest in former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has faded, majority owner Farhad Moshiri apparently plans to speak to the 61-year-old Benitez. 

The Spaniard was Liverpool's manager from 2004-10, winning the Champions League title in 2005. He spent 18 months in charge of Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional before leaving by mutual consent in January. 

Others under consideration include Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter, former Lille coach Christophe Galtier and former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea have matched Paris Saint-Germain's offer of about €65million (£56.1m) to Inter for Achraf Hakimi, according to Sky Sport Italia, though Inter value the 22-year-old at €81m (£70m).

- Barcelona see Manchester City's Raheem Sterling as a potential replacement for Ousmane Dembele should the France international depart, according to Sport, and Marca says PSG have interest in Dembele. 

- David de Gea seems inclined to extend his stay at Manchester United and expects to be the first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Dean Henderson, The Sun reports. 

- Atletico Madrid rejected United's £10m bid for England right-back Kieran Trippier, according to Football Insider. 

- Roma are close to completing their long-rumoured signing of Arsenal's Granit Xhaka, Corriere dello Sport claims. 

- West Ham would like to sign Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard on a permanent deal, The Sun reports. 

- Tottenham have had discussions with Borussia Monchengladbach winger Marcus Thuram, RMC Sport reports, and The Athletic says Spurs could also be eyeing RB Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer

- Former Roma coach Paulo Fonseca has emerged as Spurs' preferred option to replace Jose Mourinho and the sides have discussed a three-year contract, the Guardian reports. 

- Former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard could be in the mix for the Crystal Palace opening, the Daily Mirror reports. 

Robert Lewandowski may be contracted to Bayern Munich until 2023 but speculation is mounting about his future.

Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with the Poland international, particularly if the Parisians lose Kylian Mbappe.

The agent of the Bundesliga record-breaker is reportedly putting pressure on Bayern to re-negotiate his current deal, fuelling the rumours of a switch.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA MAKE LEWANDOWSKI ENQUIRY

Chelsea have reached out to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to discuss a potential move for Robert Lewandowski, according to Sky Sport Germany.

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea would face stiff competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, in the event Lewandowski decides to leave Munich, where he has been based since 2014.

Chelsea have been linked with a big-money move for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, showcasing their financial strength which could be switched to Lewandowski should they miss out on the Norwegian.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester City have emerged as the frontrunners to sign Tottenham star Harry Kane reports the Daily Mail. Kane has reportedly asked to leave Spurs amid links with City, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Chelsea are also interested in signing Atalanta's Ruslan Malinovskyi, claims The Sun. Wolfsburg defender Maxence Lacroix is also a target for the Blues, reports Sky Germany.

- The Sun says David Beckham's MLS franchise Inter Miami are pursuing Arsenal attacker Willian, who is reportedly keen on the opportunity.

Frank Lampard is on Crystal Palace's radar as they plan for Roy Hodgson's successor, according to Talksport. Hodgson will leave the Premier League club at the end of the season.  

- Corriere dello Sport claims Gennaro Gattuso is ready to leave Napoli as Fiorentina circle and he wants club captain Lorenzo Insigne to join him.

What does the future hold for Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez?

The pair helped Inter to their first Scudetto since 2009-10.

But both could depart San Siro as Inter look to cut costs.

 

TOP STORY – LUKAKU AND LAUTARO TO LEAVE INTER?

Inter could be forced to sell star forwards Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Antonio Conte's Inter have been crowned Serie A champions this season, but the Nerazzurri have financial problems as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lukaku has been linked with former club Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid, while team-mate Martinez has long been tipped to join Barca.

Alessandro Bastoni is also listed in the report amid links to Manchester City and Liverpool, while star full-back Achraf Hakimi is said to be of interest to Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

 

ROUND-UP

- The front page of Thursday's Mundo Deportivo reports Barca look at the idea of signing City's Sergio Aguero favourably. Aguero is out of contract at season's end and he has been linked with Inter, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham. But the Argentina star reportedly wants to play alongside countryman Lionel Messi. A move for Aguero would not prevent Barca from signing fellow free agent and Lyon captain Memphis Depay. Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland is also a target for the LaLiga giants. It comes amid doubts over the future of head coach Ronald Koeman.

Manchester United and Arsenal are battling to sign Sparta Prague sensation Abdallah Sima, claims the Mirror. Sima is reportedly valued at £25million (€29m).

- Sky Sports says United are interested in Juventus defender Cristian Romero, who could cost £34m (€40m). The 23-year-old Argentinian joined Atalanta on a two-year loan deal from Juve and the Serie A side have an option to buy Romero. United have also been linked with Sevilla's Jules Kounde, Lille defender Sven Botman, Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres and Real Madrid duo Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.

- Former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard could replace Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace after emerging as a leading contender, according to the Daily Telegraph.

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