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Silva: Everything can happen, or not, in the market

Manager’s comments ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton.

Everton FC v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton manager Marco Silva refused to be drawn on whether the club will sign a striker during the January transfer window.

The Blues, who have yet to make any first team additions this month, have been linked with a number of centre forwards, including Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi, but Silva would not confirm interest in any players at this point.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton, Silva said:

“It’s not the moment for us to talk about player A, B, C or D, and if they could be interested in our model as a team.

“We have to work with the players we have here, to develop them every day. This is our job. Of course, anything can happen in the market. You know already our possibilities as a club and my possibilities as a manager.

Scotland v Belgium - International Friendly
Batshuayi has been linked with a move to Goodison Park
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“It’s not a matter of changing my mind or not. When you asked me in the last few weeks about the possible players coming in, we can just sign someone if somebody leaves the club. that’s the feedback I’ve had from our board.

“I will tell you if somebody leaves the club. I have to find different solutions.”

Silva did admit that out-of-favour striker Oumar Niasse is interesting Premier League strugglers Cardiff City, after it was revealed on Wednesday that the Senegalese is in line for a loan move to South Wales:

“[There is] strong interest coming from Cardiff, but there’s nothing done. We have to wait to see if things will go this way or not.”

Bury v Everton - Pre-Season Friendly
Niasse looks set to join Cardiff for the rest of the season
Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

Amid rumours the Bluebirds have the option to make the loan deal permanent, Silva added:

“There’s nothing more to say about that. Something could happen, but until that moment I have nothing more to say.”

With Niasse having failed to score in nine Blues outings this season, and fellow senior strikers Cenk Tosun and Dominic Calvert-Lewin also struggling for goals, Silva has often turned to Richarlison, naturally a winger, to lead the line.

With the Brazilian having failed to score since the Boxing Day win at Burnley, Silva was asked whether Richarlison is entirely comfortable playing in a new position, and said he makes every selection choice with the team’s best interests in mind:

“My aim as a manager is to put the best starting XI on the pitch, the XI i think is the best solution for each match.

“Richarlison can play out wide or as a striker; now he’s playing more as a striker. I know if he doesn’t score every three or four matches, the same conversation will come again.

Everton FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
Richarlison struggled at times up front in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

“It’s a possibility for us to play with him as a striker, like with Cenk or Dominic also. We have those three, and Oumar, if he doesn’t leave.

“I will decide what the best solution is for us in that position, and the other positions in our attack. He feels comfortable in that position, just as he does out wide. It’s up to us to decide.”