Everton are reportedly close to finalising a deal to bring Andre Gomes back to Goodison Park on a permanent transfer, have opened talks with Chelsea over Kurt Zouma’s future, and could be set to add another Frenchman to our ranks.
Yahoo Sport France understand the club are ‘in contact’ with OGC Nice midfielder Wylan Cyprien, and note that the 24-year-old would be open to a potential move to the Premier League.
They do not suggest that would necessarily be with us, and there is no mention of a transfer fee or potential contract, so clearly the discussions are in a very early stage. But Yahoo Sport France have previous for linking us to Ligue 1 players without giving much information, having suggested Olympique Lyonnais’ Bertrand Traore was on our radar early in May, and that our efforts were accelerating.
Reports then picked up elsewhere, with a £25million bid touted around, although it was understood to have been rejected at Les Gones are holding out for €40million (£35.7m).
It would be hard to imagine the same figure being needed to land Cyprien’s signature, though, as the Les Abymes, Guadeloupe-born former France youth international has seen his career take a bit of a hit since joining Nice in 2016. His TransferMarkt valuation has continued to climb in that time, to now sit at £12.6million, but a cruciate ligament rupture in March 2017 ruled him out of action for 265 games, and his performances were notably poorer once he returned.
The 5 ft 9 central-midfielder finally started to get things going his way again during the recent French domestic season, though, as he made 29 Ligue 1 appearances and featured in 71% of Patrick Vieira’s starting XIs, having made just 16 outings in the prior campaign for a total of 943 minutes.
Some of his stats for the 2018/19 season are also close to or even better than his career-bests, with more tackles attempted and won, and was dispossessed the fewest times per ninety minutes than ever before, according to WhoScored. He also played more key passes per minute than ever before in Ligue 1, but did, however, record a significantly lower dribbles rate.
Cyprien has also been linked with Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain recently, but the links failed to distract him from focusing on his work on the pitch.
“Honestly, everything that is said in the newspapers and the media, I do not pay attention, because there is a lot of false [stuff],” he told Onzemondial in May. “I have never had any concrete contact with a club.
“So as long as there is none, I do not take my head. These are just “we say”. I did not have time to think about all this, and then the wound is quickly arrived, so everything is quickly down. I’m coming back to my best and that’s all I care about today.”