Premier League • England

Fear of Tottenham, Chelsea raid prompts Everton to battle with two Prem foes for impressive Ligue 1 signing

Brice Samba, Lois Openda and Florian Sotoca

Everton are still wary of losing Jordan Pickford to Tottenham or Chelsea, which has led them to shortlist a replacement goalkeeper target, a report has revealed.

Pickford will be England’s number one at the Qatar World Cup, which he has travelled to after starting 14 of Everton’s 15 Premier League games so far this season. Given that there is a feeling he performs better for country than club, it will be another opportunity for him to showcase his talents.

Everton only have Pickford under contract until 2024, so there have been suggestions that he could be taken away by other clubs next year, when his contract will be approaching its final 12 months.

He has been linked, a report from 90min reminds, with the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea. As TEAMtalk has revealed, Spurs are searching for a long-term successor to Hugo Lloris. Meanwhile, their London rivals have struggled to keep both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy happy.

90min‘s report focuses on a goalkeeper who might replace Pickford at Everton if he does jump ship.

According to the online outlet, the Toffees have been taking a look at Brice Samba since he left Nottingham Forest for Lens in the summer.

Samba was one of the most important players who helped Nottingham Forest to promotion to the Premier League a few months back. He took the opportunity to move on, though.

After signing for Lens in Ligue 1, things have been going well for the former Marseille man. Indeed, his new club are currently second in the French top flight, behind only Paris Saint-Germain.

Samba has been ever-present in their 15 league matches, only conceding 10 goals. He has kept seven clean sheets so far.

Per 90min, clubs back in England have been keeping an eye on how Samba has been getting on since leaving these shores.

Everton are among those keeping track of his performances, aware that they might need to replace Pickford within the next year.

Everton have two transfer rivals for Brice Samba

Another candidate to sign Samba could be Leicester City, who let go of captain Kasper Schmeichel in the summer to another Ligue 1 club, Nice.

Danny Ward has stepped up as Leicester’s new number one, but they might want to make a signing when the opportunity arises.

Finally, Brighton are making sure they keep up to date with developments in case their number one, Robert Sanchez, is poached by someone like Tottenham or Manchester United.

Hence, there could be three options for Samba to return to English football. However, it is unlikely he would be on the move again as early as January, especially while Lens are doing well.

He signed a long-term contract until 2027 upon signing for them. There is no pressure on Lens to sell, so they can hold out for a decent fee if anyone comes calling for the 28-year-old.

What’s more, at the current rate of progress, he might stand a better chance of qualifying for a UEFA competition with them than any of his three English admirers anyway.

But the interest will likely still be there in the background if the situation changes.

READ MOREEverton plan January bid for ‘outstanding’ AFCON winner as potential Jordan Pickford successor