All the latest news and gossip from Goodison Park.
Everton will be one of the teams to wear rainbow laces this weekend in support of gay-rights charity Stonewall. The decision comes amid doubt whether many footballers would be willing to do so, considering the significantly backward view to gay rights still held in British and world football.
Phil Jagielka, who has been pictured for the campaign stated:
‘’For me and the rest of the lads at Everton, a player’s sexuality is not important, but their ability on the pitch is. We don’t tolerate discrimination of any kind at Everton.’’
Other players confirmed to be wearing the laces include David Stockdale of Fulham, Joey Barton of QPR and Cardiff City pair Peter Odemwingie and Mark Hudson.
The Everton motto Nil Satis Nisi Optimum will return to the club crest next season. The motto was removed from the new emblem - which was widely panned by Everton fans upon release. Fans will be able to vote on three separate redesigns from Monday.
Everton are reportedly ready to rival Liverpool for talented teenager Will Hughes of Derby County. The 18-year-old has been a long-term target of Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers - but Roberto Martinez likes him too, sending scouts to watch him against Bolton Wanderers.
His manager Nigel Clough has previously intimated he would cost in excess of £6 million.
Russian reports have also seen Everton linked with a January move for CSKA Moscow attacker Seydou Doumbia. Newcastle United are also said to be keen on the player, with the Ivorian said to be looking to leave Russian football.
Steven Pienaar is out injured for four weeks with a hamstring problem. The South African sat out the recent win over Chelsea after picking up the injury in training last Friday. He should return for the October 5th encounter with Manchester City.
Everton have rewarded one of their young talents for his recent good form by giving him a new contract. Hallam Hope has signed a new two-year deal with the club. The 19-year-old stated:
“It’s always easier once you know your deal is sorted out and now I’m happy to move on, work on my game and try to become a better player.”
Time will tell if he can become a first-team regular.
Finally, and Romelu Lukaku has said he intends on proving to Jose Mourinho that he is ready for first-team action with Chelsea. He stated:
“It was my choice to go out on loan because I wanted to play as much as possible. I just got a certain feeling, and as a footballer you get these feelings.
“I had a good pre-season, but thought maybe it’s better to leave again instead of going into the background. This is the situation I wanted to avoid.’’
He can start this weekend against West Ham.
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