Premier League • England

‘Not interested’ – Manager hits back at transfer links with Everton man

Salomon Rondon Everton

The manager of Turkish club Sivasspor has hit back at reports claiming his team is about to sign Salomon Rondon from Everton.

The striker left China on transfer deadline day to link up with Rafa Benitez at Goodison Park. The pair have a good relationship from their spells together at Newcastle United and Dalian Professional.

Rondon made his Everton debut in September’s 3-1 victory over Burnley, coming off the bench to replace fellow striker Richarlison.

He has since taken his appearances to eight for the campaign, although the 32-year-old is yet to open his goalscoring account.

Rondon is mainly seen as a backup for first-choice striker pairing Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. He has good Premier League pedigree, having managed 11 goals and seven assists in the competition for Newcastle during 2018-19.

The Venezuela international also bagged seven goals and three assists in the previous season, while playing for West Brom.

Reports on Wednesday suggested Rondon could be about to secure an early exit from Everton. The belief was that Sivasspor would ‘push’ for his signature in January. ‘Significant process’ had supposedly been made in the pursuit of a deal.

But the Turkish outfit’s manager, Riza Calimbay, has refuted those claims. He told A Spor (via Sport Witness): “There are seven weeks until halftime in the Super Lig.

Dutch duo made available

Dutch duo made available

De Ligt and De Jong would be steals for absolutely any team.

“At the moment, our only thought is the matches we will play in the 7-week period.

“We are not interested in [Besiktas midfielder] Oguzhan Ozyakup and Salomon Rondon. The claims of Oguzhan and Rondon do not reflect the truth.”

It looks as though Rondon will be staying at Everton, at least until the end of the season.

The Toffees’ first game back after the international break is against Pep Guardiola’s Man City on Sunday at 14:00. They sit 11th in the table as things stand, with 15 points.

Everton rivalling Newcastle for Arsenal forward

Meanwhile, Everton are in the hunt for Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe, according to reports in France.

The Ivorian has been left on the bench in three of Arsenal’s last six Premier League matches. He is struggling to replace either Bukayo Saka or Emile Smith Rowe in the first team.

Everton are willing to take him on loan, but so too are Newcastle and Crystal Palace.

A transfer now lays in the hands of Gunners boss Mikel Arteta. He could veto a deal if Pepe is part of his plans for the rest of the campaign.

The forward has made 98 appearances for the north London club since joining in 2019, scoring 25 goals.

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