Abdominal injury rules Everton man out of World Cup qualifiers

Date published: Tuesday 16th March 2021 5:42 - Robert McCarthy

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.

Everton have enjoyed a resurgent season under Carlo Ancelotti. Currently, they sit ahead of local rivals Liverpool in the Premier League table.

A push for the top four appeared realistic as many of the traditional ‘top six’ struggled throughout the campaign.

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.

Spanish outlet Todo Fichajes (via Goal) state that Everton are weighing up a move for Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic.

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.Barcelona.TEAMtalk

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’.

 

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