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Transfer Rumor Roundup: West Ham, Brighton, Leicester City all on the prowl

Europa League odds

Olympiakos’ Greek defender Konstantinos Tsimikas (R) vies with Arsenal’s Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos (L) during the UEFA Europa league round of 32 second leg football match between Arsenal and Olympiakos at the Emirates stadium in London on February 27, 2020. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

A number of Premier League clubs are using the coronavirus shutdown to take a closer look at transfer targets around Europe and even the globe, with ample time to discuss business and review tape.

According to Greek publication Sportime, Leicester City is looking closely at the possibility of replacing either Ben Chilwell or Ricardo Pereira with both the Foxes’ full-backs becoming hot commodities this season. They have reportedly identified Greek international Konstantinos Tsimikas of Olympiakos as a possible option. The 23-year-old has impressed this season, including good performances in Champions League games against Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspur, boosting his value to a reported $28 million.

Tsimikas was linked with Rangers in late 2019, but with his value increasing since then, he could be out of their price range now. The Sportime report states that while a couple of Serie A clubs are on his heels as well, the player is specifically interested in a shot at the Premier League, giving Leicester City a leg up on the competition. With his contract expiring at the end of the 2022 campaign, the time is now for Olympiakos to sell and receive solid value.

According to a report out of Australia, Brighton & Hove Albion is set to pull the trigger on a deal for young Sydney FC midfielder Cameron Peupion. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a deal is so close, “the next training session Peupion takes part in is likely to be with Brighton.”

The 17-year-old reportedly had a trial with Brighton after the U-17 World Cup where Australia qualified for the knockout stages before being downed by eventual finalist France in the Round of 16. The report does not state how much Peupion would set Brighton back but says he is extremely close to joining fellow Aussies Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan with the Seagulls. The report also name-drops former Brighton player Paul Reid who is now an assistant coach with Sydney FC as one of the driving forces behind the deal.

Spanish publication AS reports that West Ham has shown the most interest among a small group of suitors for Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez. The 23-year-old center-back has earned under 1,000 league minutes so far this season and is looking elsewhere for more playing time. Everton and Arsenal are both mentioned in the report as following Nunez as well, who has turned down a contract offer with his current deal expiring in the summer of 2023. He reportedly has a $32.6 million release clause in his current deal, which is partly the motivation for the club hoping to extend him.

Everton has struggled to get young Italian striker Moise Kean going on the field after securing him last summer from Juventus, but the 20-year-old still has clubs wishing to buy low and return him to his former self. Roma is reportedly one of those clubs, according to Italian tabloid Il Messaggero, with Kean’s performances for Juventus still on the Serie A side’s mind. He exploded onto the scene as a 19-year-old, earning him a trio of caps for the Italian national team.

The report states that Roma is looking for a new striker, a sensible move considering the team’s only true strikers, Edin Dzeko and Nikola Kalinic (who is on loan from Atletico Madrid), are 34 and 32 years old respectively. This could push them to explore Kean, and while Everton will likely push back as the striker is still just 20 years old, the Toffees could be tested if Kean desires a return to his home country.

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