Premier League • England

Che Adams transfer latest: Cheeky Everton approach falls short as Southampton make clear decision and Leeds Utd ponder approach

Che Adams of Southampton FC looks on. Pre-season friendly match, Swansea city v Southampton at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea

Everton will have to consider their next offer after seeing an opening bid for Che Adams fail – but hope of a deal remain amid reports over Southampton’s stance on the player.

The future of the Southampton striker looks set to feature in the final weeks of the transfer window. With three weeks remaining, Adams finds himself a player in demand with three Premier League suitors on his trail. Indeed, the Scotland international has interest from Leeds and Nottingham Forest, as well as the Toffees.

His future remains up in the air, with the 26-year-old an unused substitute in their heavy opening day defeat at Tottenham. To make matters worse for Adams, Ralph Hasenhuttl opted to pick midfielder Stuart Armstrong in a false 9 role during the second half.

The Saints boss has since addressed his decision to leave Adams on the bench. And those comments do little to dampen speculation that Adams could be on the move.

“I think we didn’t want to change in the end the two guys up front, Joe [Aribo] and Stuey,” Hasenhuttl told the Daily Echo.

“I think they deserved to play because they had a good pre-season and scored goals. And in the end, Arma got the chance today to start because he was the most successful striker in pre-season for us. He deserved it I think.”

Asked what Adams must do to win a recall, Hasenhuttl added: “I think everybody should step up because this is not enough what we’re doing so far.

“Because I don’t compare this game to when we won here last year, in some moments we have done a better job last season.”

Toffees see Che Adams offer fall short

However, it is Everton who have made the first move to sign Adams, though their first offer has fallen short.

They are reported to have contacted Saints over a loan deal that would see him move to Goodison Park with an option to buy next summer.

However, the approach has been quickly rebuffed by Southampton, who are in no mood to entertain a sale.

But hope remains for the Toffees, and Adams’ other suitors, amid claims Saints are willing to sell the player on a permanent deal.

And as per The Athletic, Southampton are willing to cash in on Adams for a fee of £15m.

Hasenhuttl is already on the lookout for a new attacking option for Saints, with Adams seemingly free to leave once he finds one.

With that in mind, Hampshire Live speculate that Leeds could yet launch a late window bid to bring the striker to Elland Road.

Everton are also in need of attacking reinforcements with Dominic Calvert-Lewin facing another five weeks on the sidelines.

Which challenge would most appeal to Adams?

If he’s not getting games for Southampton, Adams will likely push to leave St Mary’s himself.

He has featured in 110 games for Saints since a £15m move from Birmingham in summer 2019. In that time he has scored 21 goals.

While not the most prolific, Adams is a hard-working striker who can hold the ball up and bring others into play.

Che Adams of Southampton - Southampton v Everton, Premier League, St Mary's Stadium, Southampton

As such, he could hold his own were he to move to either Forest, Everton or Leeds. But which of those moves would suit the player best?

The biggest challenge would undoubtedly come at Forest and it is there where he would arguably play most often. They have also signed Taiwo Awoniyi this summer, but do need more options in attack.

At Everton, game-time would also likely come his way. With Richarlison having been sold this summer and with Calvert-Lewin sidelined, the Toffees looked toothless in their opener against Chelsea.

Leeds would perhaps offer the toughest route into the first-team. The Whites have Patrick Bamford back fit and, when available, he is a proven first choice.

However, Bamford only managed 560 minutes of Premier League football last season and Leeds could certainly have made use of Che Adams’ presence in attack had he been on their books last season.

Meanwhile, Everton’s big signing of the summer, Amadou Onana, has explained how Frank Lampard helped persuade him to move to Goodison Park.