Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has been ruled out of England’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers through injury.
The Three Lions number one was forced off just before half-time of Saturday’s surprise 2-1 loss to Burnley in the Premier League.
Pickford underwent a scan on Monday and Everton have now confirmed he will miss the England triple header “after sustaining an injury to his oblique abdominal muscle”.
The club said in a statement: “He is ruled out of England’s games against San Marino, Albania and Poland, as manager Gareth Southgate’s team begin their bid to reach the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.
“Pickford will remain under the care of the club’s medical staff at USM Finch Farm during the break.”
Everton eyeing another Barcelona star
Meanwhile, Everton are considering a move for a Barcelona midfielder that would see him become the club’s fourth signing from the Spanish giants in recent years, according to a report.
A push for the top four appeared realistic as many of the traditional ‘top six’ struggled throughout the campaign.
Carlo Ancelotti rues Everton's profligacy
Carlo Ancelotti said that Everton were not clinical in front of goal and suffered from defensive mistakes as they lost 2-1 against Burnley in the Premier League.
However, successive defeats to Chelsea and Burnley have greatly hampered their Champions League qualification aspirations, with Ancelotti recently bemoaning their dismal home form at the weekend.
Nevertheless, with the club making forward progress, a busy summer is anticipated.
Ancelotti transformed the club six months ago with several key additions.
James Rodriguez, Ben Godfrey, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan have all starred at various points throughout the season.
Another transfer window like that would cement Everton’s position as top four challengers. Indeed, the latest report has seen them linked with reopening negotiations with a familiar side.
Everton, Barca relationship could be key
The two clubs have become frequent business partners in recent years. Lucas Digne, Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes were all acquired from the La Liga giants.
Pjanic, 30, could be next in line with Ancelotti stated to be ‘wanting to get the most’ out of the pair’s close relationship.
The Bosnian midfielder moved to the Camp Nou last summer as Arthur Melo departed the opposite way.
Despite his obvious talents and years of faultless service in Serie A, Pjanic has struggled in Serie A.
The midfielder has failed to register a single goal or assist for his new side. That, combined with Barcelona’s continued financial struggles amid the Covid-19 pandemic could see him put on the market.
The option of a loan is touted by the publication, though competition could reportedly come from Tottenham.
Pjanic is a player the outlet declares Mourinho ‘likes a lot’.