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Lacina Traore nears Everton move; Roma closing in on Michel Bastos

Everton F.C. are on the verge of completing the loan signing of AS Monaco striker Lacina Traore.

Everton F.C. are on the verge of completing the loan signing of AS Monaco striker Lacina Traore, Sky Sports understands.

The Cote d’Ivoire international, 23, was close to joining Premier League strugglers West Ham United last week but the deal ultimately fell through despite the player being granted a work permit.

It is now believed the Toffees are in pole position to land Traore on loan for the rest of the season.

When asked if the 2.03 metre-tall Ivorian would sign for West Ham, manager Sam Allardyce conceded: “It’s unlikely by the sounds of it.

“We’re finding it extremely difficult [to sign players].

“We had a terrible day yesterday [Friday] when I thought a player was signing for us and then I found out he wasn’t, but there you go.

“[Any other club] can apply for a work permit like we did.

“They would have to do a separate application.”

West Ham (4-6-12) — 1/2 to avoid relegation — are currently in 18th-place in the English Premier League table, having netted just 22 goals in 22 league games in 2013/14.

The Hammers No. 1 strike option Andy Carroll, who joined the club from Liverpool in a deal worth  £15 million in the summer, has made just two substitute appearances for the club this season.

Roma closing in on Michel Bastos

A.S. Roma boss boss Rudi Garcia has revealed the club are close to agreeing a loan deal for Al Ain FC winger Michel Bastos.

Bastos, 30, joined Al Ain from French giants Olympique Lyonnais in the summer and has gone on to score four goals in 12 league appearances for the UAE Pro-League champions.

The former Brazil international previously played under Garcia at Lille between 2008 and 2009.

“It’s not done yet, but negotiations are at an advanced stage,” said Garcia.

“He is a versatile player, which is what interests me. He can play on the right or left, has a strong shot, good technique and can also play left-back, so we are covered in many different areas.

“I have been tracking this player since he left Lille, going through Lyon, Schalke and Al Ain.

“I always spoke to him and knew this was a possibility for us. Above all, he was very eager to come back to Europe, so I am happy.

“He’s not just a player of a top level, but also a good man.”

Roma — priced at 34/5 to win Serie A — are eight points behind table toppers Juventus with 18 league fixtures remaining.

Sun 19 January, 2014
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