Roberto Martinez has today confirmed he expects to make one further signing before the transfer window closes on Monday 2nd September. Having assessed his squad, he has identified one area he would like to strengthen further and that area is the centre of midfield.
Speaking to the media ahead of his first official home game in charge of the Blues, Martinez confirmed that he had no plans to cash in on any of his star players to fund transfers, but did admit that all players have a valuation. So far the figures mentioned in the press continue to fall well short of a price acceptable to Everton and as the window slowly closers, the chance of Everton selling is vastly reduced. In any case, Martinez is not concerning himself with out going transfers and will instead focus on securing midfield re-inforcements.
There are three players who have been significantly linked with a move to the Blues, some more expensive than others, some vastly experienced and one with no Premier League experience at all.
James McCarthy would be Martinez’ preferred choice, but he is also the most expensive and unless Wigan reduce their asking price, or Everton come into some money, that move is unlikely to happen. McCarthy would be a great addition for the Blues, at 22 years old he is the perfect age and would add real quality to a young midfield already containing Gibson, Fellaini and Barkley. McCarthy is well known to Martinez and his coaching team following their time together at the Latics, and new assistant manager Graeme Jones is particularly close having played an integral role in his development at Hamilton.
An alternative option and at present the most likely is a loan move for Gareth Barry. Both parties are keen to secure a deal, however the Manchester City midfielder is on £100k a week, which is way out of reach for Everton. The clubs have discussed a compromise, with City subsidising his wages, but as expected City are unwilling to agree to a deal at present.
The final option is Luca Marrone, the Juventus and Italian u21 international. Aged 23 the Italian would fit well with the strategy of buying young, he is a strong player, but comfortable in possession and with his chances limited at Juve, he would jump at the opportunity of a move to the Premier League. Marrone would be the riskiest of the three possible deals, but at around £6m to £8m is just about affordable for the Toffees.
It promises to be an interesting few days as the window draws to a close and as ever we expect Everton to be involved right up until the deadline.