Transfer deadline day promises to be busy for Everton, with potentially two big name players heading out and a whole number arriving.
If widespread reports are true, then Belgium international midfielder Marouane Fellaini looks destined for a big money move to Manchester United. There were one or two late reports last night that Manchester City had also entered the running for the curly haired colossus, which could help boost the final asking price, but wherever the destination it does appear that Fellaini has played his final game in Everton Blue.
Leighton Baines has been strongly linked with a move to United all summer, but whisper it quietly, Everton are growing increasingly confident of retaining the services of the brilliant left back. Time will tell, but unless a team is prepared to stump up upwards of £20m, Everton will be delighted to retain his services.
On a more positive note, Gareth Barry is expected to become the first arrival of the day, completing a season long loan deal, with the potential to become permanent in the summer. The Manchester City championship winner is unlikely to be the only midfield arrival, with Everton hopeful of signing Wigan Athletic’s James McCarthy.
McCarthy’s arrival is directly linked to the departure of Fellaini, but despite reports to the contrary, Everton were close to agreeing a £12m package for the Irishman last night. The 22-year-old is expected to put pen to paper on a 5 year contract with the Toffees.
Martinez will further utilise the Fellaini windfall to move for Blackpool winger Tom Ince. Both Everton and Martinez have held a long term interest in the goal scoring Ince, but face competition for his signature as the Blues try to tie up a package in the region on £8m.
Rumours continue to circulate of a move for a centre forward, although no names have been confirmed at this stage. Jermain Defoe is out of favour at Spurs, although they would be reluctant sellers unless they make another forward signing themselves. Demba Ba has been made available for loan by Chelsea, but with upwards of 30 clubs showing an interest, the competition would be huge.
Elsewhere Everton have been linked with Feyenoord and Dutch international defender Bruno Martins Indi and Ryan Bertrand from Chelsea, it would appear that both these deals would be linked to the departure of Leighton Baines.
Hold onto your seats, it promises to be a dramatic day, with the window closing at 11pm tonight.