Everton could turn to Fiorentina’s Neto to boost ‘keeper ranks

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With first-choice stopper Tim Howard out for six weeks with a calf injury Everton have been forced to cope with just one senior goalkeeper in Joel Robles of late, a position boss Roberto Martinez is keen to address.

Yet to make a single appearance for the senior team, 18-year-old Russell Griffiths has found himself on the bench throughout the busy Christmas period, and now Martinez is ready to make a move in the transfer market to bolster his options.

The former Wigan gaffer has been quoted as saying he is looking for a “long-term signing”, presumably first as cover, then competition and eventually a replacement for the 35-year-old Howard.

So who could the Toffees turn to in the window? We profile three possible targets.

Neto – Fiorentina

The highly rated ‘keeper recently angered the club’s hierarchy and fans by openly announcing that he would not be renewing his contract, which expires at the end of the current campaign.

Word is that manager Vincenzo Montella could now decide to drop the Brazilian until the conclusion of his deal, despite the light under which the 25-year-old is seen in.

La Viola can boast one of the meanest defences in Serie A this season, with only the top two of Roma and Juventus conceding fewer goals.

A cut-price deal may be a possibility due to his situation, but with the likes of The Old Lady, and Everton’s neighbours in the Red side of Stanley Park interested, they will have a battle on their hands.

Mamadou Samassa – Guingamp

The Malian-international goalkeeper is another who has been linked with Liverpool, but it is Everton who might be able to bring him to the north west of England.

The 6’6” number 30 boasts an impressive frame that can certainly intimidate referee’s as well as defenders.

He was hit with a five-match suspension for his behaviour in a match against Montpellier and has yet to work his way back into the Guingamp starting XI.

But despite his disciplinary issues, his talent is clear to see, and with the club looking unlikely to make the Europa League again next season, could be open to a move to the Premier League to bolster his chances.

Ben Amos – Manchester United

At 24-years-old it is probably fair to assume that the Manchester United academy prospect isn’t going to break through to claim the number one jersey at Old Trafford.

He has faced loans out to the Championship and League One in recent seasons, and performed admirably.

But when given the chance during pre-season, Miralem Pjanic’s wonder goal left him on the receiving end of a scathing summary from Louis van Gaal, saying;

“I am nearly 63 years old and I run when the ball is flying four seconds, 50 metres. What do you think?” seemingly hinting he may have done better facing the effort.

With his career at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ looking at a dead-end, a change of surroundings at Everton could be the spark he needs.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.