23 August 2020 00:32
Hello and welcome to the Liverpool ECHO's Saturday live blog for all your very latest Everton news, rumours and transfer gossip. The ECHO will provide breaking stories, reaction and comment to all the big talking points from Goodison Park - as well as keeping tabs on transfer market gossip from around the world. Get involved and send your thoughts to @LivEchoEFC. Arsenal, Leeds and Everton are all interested in Club Brugge forward Emmanuel Dennis, according to a report. Dennis has risen to prominence over the past three seasons with Club Brugge, for whom he scored two goals in the Champions League in 2019-20, as well as five times in the Belgian top flight.
Capable of playing anywhere across the attack, Dennis has now emerged as a transfer target for several top European sides. Reports emerged earlier this month that newly-promoted Leeds were considering a bid for the 22-year-old. Marcelo Bielsa wants attacking reinforcements after missing out on Jonathan David, and Dennis is one of his main alternative targets. According to Caught Offside, though, Leeds will face competition from several European heavyweights – including Premier League duo Arsenal and Everton. The website claims that Club Brugge will be happy to sell Dennis this summer if they get an offer of €40m.
That may give Inter or Leipzig an advantage. However, while some clubs have already made bids, none have yet matched Brugge's valuation of the player. Dennis, who made his Nigeria debut last September, has two years left on his contract. Leighton Baines is in talks with Everton over a new role within the club. Baines broke off a 13-year association with the Blues in late July by calling time on his lengthy playing career at the end of the 2019/20 campaign. The former England international came on as a late substitute for Carlo Ancelotti's side in their 3-1 reversal to Bournemouth at Goodison Park. Ancelotti admitted that he hoped Everton could utilise both the 35-year-old's 'knowledge and experience' in some capacity after hanging up his boots. Talks have now taken place between Baines and senior club figures including director of football Marcel Brands and CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale. In a letter to supporters, Professor Barrett-Baxendale outlined the Goodison hierarchy's confidence of soon confirming the ex-defender's new role. She said: "I can assure you we did everything we could to extend Leighton's playing career with us – although we completely respect his decision and wish him well for his future. "As our chairman said in his tribute to one of the best left-backs ever to have graced Goodison and the Premier League, Leighton knows the love and respect that Evertonians feel towards him…and that's what really matters to him. "Marcel and I have been working behind-the-scenes with Leighton over the last few weeks and are excited about how we might be able to continue a relationship with him in future. "We're currently working through some of the final details, which we believe will be great for Leighton and for our football club. "While we're not in a position to confirm this yet, I assure you that you will be the first to know – as I know how much Leighton means to you and how interested you'll be in any role we confirm with him."