Seamus Coleman poised for comeback after injury nightmare
Sam Allardyce has indicated that Seamus Coleman is close to a first-team return at Everton.
The Ireland captain has been on the sidelines since he suffered a horrific leg break in last March's World Cup qualifier with Wales.
Coleman has steadily been stepping up his work on the training ground and Allardyce last night told Everton's general meeting that the Donegal man is back in with the rest of the first team group. "Seamus Coleman is due back," said Allardyce. "He has started training."
It has been a long and painful road back for Coleman after Ireland missed out on making the World Cup in his absence.
Former Cork City defender Ryan Delaney has left Burton Albion to a sign a permanent two-and-a-half-year contract with League One side Rochdale.
Delaney was a key part of the Cork side that completed the league and FAI Cup double last year while on loan from Burton.
But it made no impact on his situation back at Burton with manager Nigel Clough unwilling to promote the player he signed from Wexford Youths in 2016.
That prompted Delaney to agree to drop down a division and kick-start his English career with Rochdale. The Irish U-21 international feels it's the right fit for him at this stage of his development.
"I wanted to come to a club that would help me progress even further and I feel that, at this point in my career, Rochdale is going to be a good club to help me to do that," he said.
"The last year has been very good for me and I enjoyed getting out playing football and getting regular games. I feel as though I've improved a lot over the last year, so hopefully I can keep on progressing."
Delaney is entering a relegation fight with Rochdale second from bottom in a division where four sides go down although an FA Cup run has left them with games in hand.
They will play away to Millwall in the fourth round and Delaney will be eligible for involvement although he is short of match practice and may need time to get up to speed.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth have denied reports that they have turned down an offer from West Ham for Harry Arter. Speculation suggested that David Moyes had been knocked back with a £5m bid with Bournemouth looking for twice that amount. But a club spokesman briefed local media to insist there was 'absolutely no truth' to the story.
Arter's position is unclear, however, with the midfielder in and out of Eddie Howe's side this season. West Ham are long-term admirers of the 28-year-old.