Everton have been in touch with Charlton over a possible £10million bid for exciting young forward Ademola Lookman.
The 19-year-old U20 international – who scored the winner on Boxing Day – has caught the eye of a number of Premier League clubs but Ronald Koeman’s Merseyside outfit is now the leading contender.
Koeman said: “There is interest for the boy, yes. Will it be done early? I don’t know.”
Manager Karl Robinson has travelled to Belgium for talks with owner Roland Duchatelet which he hopes will result in a treasure chest for the transfer window, a need that will become especially great if Lookman leaves. He is looking for two midfielders and a winger.
Southend v Charlton betting preview
Southend United are one of the in-form teams in League One and are unbeaten in 11 games. On Saturday, they host a Charlton Athletic side who are in a transitional phase after replacing their manager.
The Shrimpers should be able to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games when the Addicks visit Roots Hall on New Year’s Eve.
Karl Robinson recorded his first win as Charlton manager against his former side MK Dons on Boxing Day.
Robinson will be hoping the 1-0 victory marks a turning of the tide as his new charges buy into his style of play. The win doesn’t overshadow the fact that Charlton have only managed two league goals since the 36-year-old took over, though, and coming up against the sixth-placed side in the league will prove a stern test.
While Charlton have been experiencing a goal drought in recent weeks, Southend have scored eight goals in their last three games.
The Shrimpers also have a highly impressive home record in the current campaign. They have scored 24 goals in front of their own fans this season, and have stepped up their output in the last month. In their previous four matches at Roots Hall they have averaged 2.5 goals per game.
Southend have also tightened up in defence. Since the 3-0 defeat to Rochdale in early October, the Seasiders have only conceded five goals in 11 games.
Seeing as though Charlton have only mustered five shots on target in their two previous outings, we think another clean sheet could well be on the cards for Phil Brown’s well-organised back line. For those reasons, a punt on Southend to win to nil at 3/1 looks a rather tantalising prospect.
Southend haven’t beaten the Addicks since a 3-0 victory at The Valley in 1996. Since then the two sides have met six times in all competitions, with one draw and five wins for Charlton.
The fixture has also produced goals on nearly every occasion. The last 0-0 draw was in 1972 and before that there was a goalless stalemate in 1924.
Goals could well be on the agenda here again, and going on current form we fancy Southend to win comfortably. 2-0 at 10/1 or 3-0 at 22/1 both look as though they could come to fruition, but those who want to play it safe should stick with a win for the Shrimpers at 6/4.
Supplied by Oddschecker