The boys are back training after their summer breaks and so are we at St Domingo’s. After a busy summer of World Cup football the batteries are recharged and with Roberto back behind his desk at Finch Farm the transfer rumours have gathered pace.
With several top clubs splashing the cash it was a relief to see Everton finally make their first move of the summer by securing the signature of Gareth Barry on a 3 year deal. At £2million it must be the most expensive ‘free transfer’ of all time but after a fantastic loan season at Goodison you will struggle to find an Evertonian against the move.
With the signing of Barry secured attention has quickly turned to further additions. The Spanish press were adamant that Colombian midfielder Carlos Sanchez was on his way to Merseyside although these rumours appear wide of the mark. However another World Cup midfielder looks set to be the summers second arrival. Bosnian Muhamed Bešić gained many suitors after a strong competition and at £4million Everton look to have completed a fantastic piece of business. Despite the impending arrival of Bešić, Martinez would still like to add further midfield reinforcements, with Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley a firm favourite of the Spaniard.
The return to fitness of Arouna Kone will be a huge boost, but Everton still need to strengthen their attacking line. Romelu Lukaku remains number one target and Martinez spoke at length during today’s press call, to explain that despite an underwhelming World Cup, Lukaku is good value at £20million. That fee would smash the Blues transfer record, but at just 21 years old, the future return on Lukaku should be significantly above that figure.
Martinez would also like to add another centre forward and Lacina Traore is in talks over a potential season long loan deal. The giant Ivorian spent the second half of last season at Goodison, but featured just twice as injury restricted his playing time. Monaco are happy to let him out for another loan spell but are looking to secure a healthy loan fee.