Klaassen adds to Toffees options

New recruit Davy Klaassen has been backed to bring some much-needed attacking intent to the Everton midfield after joining the Toffees from Ajax.

The 24-year-old Netherlands international has signed a five-year contract at Goodison Park, becoming the second major arrival within a matter of hours, following the £25million arrival of England Under-21 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from Sunderland.

And Blues head coach Ronald Koeman is delighted to have landed his compatriot, who he rates highly and who he believes can give his side more of a threat in central areas.

He told the club's official website: "He's a player who is only 24 but has a lot of experience and is a leader on the pitch. He has already captained Ajax for two seasons and that shows you the type of person he is.

"He is hard-working, likes to press and, of course, will give us more creativity and goals.

"It is another major signing and I am really happy we have been able to complete the deal so early in the summer."

Klaassen won three Dutch league titles during his time in Amsterdam, while he made his senior international debut in a friendly against France just before the 2014 World Cup finals.

And Klaassen is keen to make his mark and get amongst the goals, having scored 44 times in 126 league appearances for Ajax.

He added: "I'm an attacking midfielder player who likes to get in the box. I also like to be aggressive on the field and press all the time. I like to score and create goals and I like to win."

Everton can be backed at 10/1 to finish in the top four in the Premier League next season, while they are 11/4 to secure a top-six spot.

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Maguire pleased with Foxes move

Defender Harry Maguire says Foxes head coach Craig Shakespeare played a big role in helping him decide to join Leicester City.

The 24-year-old centre-back has signed a five-year contract at the King Power Stadium, having opted to leave Hull City following their relegation from the Premier League.

And Maguire is happy that he has made the right choice, having been of interest to a number of top-flight clubs.

He told his new club's official website: "Playing nearly every game in the Premier League for Hull has definitely helped me – I know that I can play at that level.

"Staying in the Premier League was a big priority, because last year I felt I proved myself.

"There were a number of clubs interested, but when I met the manager here, he pretty much swayed it in the direction of this club. It's on the up and it looks very promising for the future.

"Hopefully we can kick on and push on to get into the top half, which is what we're aiming for."

Having claimed the Premier League title in stunning fashion the season before last, Leicester ended in 12th place last season, having been close to the relegation zone before an upturn in form following the appointment of Shakespeare.

However, they ended the campaign with two wins in eight league games and face a summer of some rebuilding to enjoy a more productive 2017/18 season.

The Foxes are 6/1 to finish in the top six next season, with West Ham available at 9/1 and Everton 11/4.

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Koeman welcomes Pickford arrival

Everton head coach Ronald Koeman believes his club can look forward to new signing Jordan Pickford becoming an even better player in the future.

The England Under-21s goalkeeper has signed a five-year contract with the Toffees, becoming the most expensive keeper in British football history, with his former club Sunderland pouching an initial fee of £25million.

That fee could eventually rise to £30million with adds-on to the deal, but Koeman is confident that that will prove to be money well-spent.

He told his club's official website: "Jordan is a very talented young professional who also has a real hunger for success – that's important for us as we now look to make further progress in the seasons ahead.

"We've seen the quality he has through his performances in the Premier League last season and, given his young age, we're sure he will get even better."

And Pickford himself is relishing an opportunity to further his career, having been unable to help save Sunderland from relegation to the Championship last season.

The 23-year-old added: "Last season was my first in the Premier League, so to get this opportunity with Everton, to be able to go forward with my career and show everyone what I can do, is unbelievable.

"It is a great club, a massive club and I think it is a great opportunity and the right time for me to come to Everton and show what I can do."

Everton finished in seventh place in the Premier League last season and qualified for the qualifying rounds of the Europa League.

The Toffees are 11/4 to finish in the Premier League top six next season, with Southampton 9/2 and Leicester City 6/1.

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Lindelof targets United silverware

Central defender Victor Lindelof is aiming to help Manchester United win more trophies after completing a £31million move to Old Trafford from Benfica.

The 22-year-old Sweden international has signed a four-year contract with the Red Devils, having spent the last five-and-a-half years in Portugal, helping the Eagles to three league championships and two Portuguese Cup successes.

And Lindelof has set his sights on adding to his medal collection, with United having won the Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League last season.

He told his new club's official website: "I have enjoyed my time at Benfica enormously and I have learned a lot there, but I'm looking forward to playing in the Premier League at Old Trafford and for Jose Mourinho.

"I'm keen to get started and make my contribution to the team's efforts to win more trophies.

"United are one of the biggest clubs in the world and always want to win titles. That's also my goal, I want to come here and win titles.

"I'm here to do my best to try to help the team as much as I can and it's always good to have other good players around you. When you have that, you get better as well.

"I always had a dream of coming here to play in the Premier League, so, for me, it is a dream come true."

Lindelof faces competition from the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly at Old Trafford.

United are 3/1 to be crowned Premier League champions next season, while they are 16/1 to triumph in the Champions League and 13/2 to lift the FA Cup.

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Puel departs St Mary’s

Despite helping Southampton reach the EFL Cup final and guiding them to eighth in the Premier League table, Claude Puel has been axed.

The Frenchman leaves Saints after spending just one season in charge at St Mary's.

A lack of goals and conservative style of play, particularly in the last two months of the campaign, are believed to be the reasons why Southampton have decided to part company with the 55-year-old.

A club statement said: "Southampton Football Club can confirm that it has terminated the contract of Claude Puel with immediate effect.

"Everyone at Southampton would like to express our thanks to Claude for his hard work and commitment this year.

"The highlight of the season was a memorable day at Wembley in the EFL Cup Final, a day our fans will always treasure. We wish Claude well for the future.

"The search for a new management team is underway. We are confident that we will find the right fit in line with the long-term vision of the club."

Southampton appointed the former Nice manager as their new boss last summer after Ronald Koeman left the club to take charge of Everton.

Southampton are 8/15 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table in 2017/18 and 8/11 to beat Swansea City on the opening weekend of the campaign.

Newcastle start with Spurs test

Newcastle United will entertain Tottenham on the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign after being promoted last term.

Rafa Benitez's side won the Championship title in 2016/17 and face an early test of their strength when they take on a Spurs team that finished second behind Chelsea last season.

The Blues begin their title defence at home to Burnley on 12th August while Brighton, who sealed automatic promotion from the Championship alongside Newcastle, host Manchester City, 15/8 to win the 2017/18 Premier Leaguer title.

Huddersfield Town, who edged past Reading in the Championship play-off final just over two weeks ago, visit managerless Crystal Palace. The Terriers are 4/7 to be relegated.

Arsenal, 1/1 to finish in the top four, entertain the 2015/16 Premier League winners Leicester City on the opening weekend of the campaign while Everton, who will be involved in the Europa League this season, entertain Stoke City.

Manchester United, who return to Champions League action in 2017/18, face West Ham United at Old Trafford, while Swansea City visit Southampton.

Liverpool face an opening weekend visit to Watford, now managed by Marco Silva, and West Brom, 6/1 to be relegated in 2017/18, take on Bournemouth at The Hawthorns.

Koscielny quashes transfer talk

Laurent Koscielny insists he has no desire to leave Arsenal this summer even though he is being linked with a transfer to Marseille.

The 31-year-old France international defender has been with the Gunners for seven years and has made more than 200 Premier League appearances for Arsene Wenger's side following his £9.7million switch from Lorient.

He has been a solid performer for Arsenal since arriving at the club in 2010 but in 2017/18 the north London outfit will not be competing in the Champions League after they only finished fifth in the Premier League in the campaign just ended.

Koscielny signed a new contract with Arsenal during the season but that has not helped to quash speculation that he couod be heading back to Ligue 1.

Marseille signed Dimitri Payet for £25million from West Ham United in January and are keen to bolster their squad further in the next few weeks.

However, Koscielny said: "I have a contract with Arsenal, I even signed an extension last November until 2020.

"I have always said that I was a Marseille fan when I was younger. When a mythical club like Marseille contact you, it is good. But will I sign for them? I have no idea at all."

Arsenal can be backed at 12/1 to win the Premier League title in 2017/18 and at 1/1 to finish in the top four while they are available at 8/1 to clinch the Europa League.

Stones demands more of himself

John Stones says he wants to do himself justice next term after admitting that he was disappointed with his first season at Manchester City.

The England international joined City from Everton last summer for a transfer fee believed to be £47.5 million, but struggled in his first campaign at the Etihad Stadium as Pep Guardiola's team failed to win a trophy.

The 23-year-old former Barnsley defender only started 23 Premier League games for City last term, missing the rest because of a combination of injury and poor form.

He acknowledged:  "I was disappointed with my first season at City, purely because we had such a great team and we set the bar high.

"We all believed we could do better – and I know that I could have done better in some games. But I have a thick skin and I do not worry about criticism from the outside too much. Ultimately, I only listen to the manager, my team-mates and my family.

"The fee does not really make it harder for me. I am very fortunate to have been bought for that amount of money – almost flattered by City paying that much. And, of course, I want to do myself justice."

City are 15/8 to win the Premier League title in 2017/18 and 12/1 to lift the Champions League.

Lindelof agrees Old Trafford move

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has agreed to sign Benfica's young Swedish defender Victor Lindelof.

A deal for the 22-year-old is subject to a medical examination, international clearance and personal terms.

It is believed United will pay €35million for Lindelof, with a statement from the club reading: "Manchester United is pleased to announce that it has reached agreement with Benfica for the transfer of Victor Lindelof, subject to a medical examination, international clearance and personal terms.

"A further announcement will be made once the transfer is complete."

Lindelof joined Benfica in December 2011 and has won three Primeira Liga titles with the Portuguese giants.

Mourinho is keen to strengthen his defence as Marcos Rojo suffered a serious knee injury in April, while the former Chelsea boss has often made public his frustration with English trio Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Luke Shaw.

United have also been linked with Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, although that move may only happen if goalkeeper David de Gea seals a transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Manchester United are 3/1 to win the Premier League title in 2017/18 and 16/1 to claim the Champions League following their triumph in the Europa League final last month.

Real Madrid can be backed at 5/1 to win the Champions League again next term.

Iheanacho revals City hopes

Kelechi Iheanacho has confirmed that he wants to stay at Manchester City this summer and is targeting some silverware next season.

The 20-year-old Nigerian striker has been heavily linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium in the transfer window with Premier League outfit West Ham keen to sign him in a £20million deal.

However Iheanacho, who made only five starts for City in the league last season, claims he is unaware of any interest in him from rivals clubs.

And, while he accepts that being in a squad as strong as City's means he does not expect to play in every game, the forward felt he deserved more opportunities from boss Pep Guardiola last term.

Despite his frustration, Iheanacho is keen to remain at the club and play his part in achieving some success in 2017-18.

"When you are playing well and doing well in the team you expect to play more," he said.

"But unfortunately it didn't go as planned so we did not get to get any silverware this season but we really fight like a team.

"It is not the season we really wanted but it wasn't a bad season for our team. What we will do is go back and prepare for next season and make sure we get silverware next season."

City are 15/8 to win the Premier League next season, while they are priced at 5/1 to lift the FA Cup.