News and gossip from the past seven days at Goodison Park.
Roberto Martinez is apparently ready to offer Phil Neville a quick return to Goodison Park this summer. The 36-year-old announced his retirement from football after his release from the club last week and is widely tipped to get into a coaching role as soon as possible. Now the former Wigan boss has opened the door to an immediate Everton return after admitting he would be speaking to the ‘Everton icon’ about a coaching role.
Although that contradicts another story from earlier in the week that he will instead be following David Moyes to Manchester United along with Steve Round. Goal.com reported that Neville and Round will join Jimmy Lumsden, Chris Woods and Robbie Cooke in the Everton exodus to Old Trafford this summer.
A player that Martinez reportedly has his eyes on bringing in from his former club is Arouna Kone. The Ivorian was signed by Martinez from Levante last summer and is expected to leave the DW Stadium this summer after their relegation. Martinez is set to do battle with Hull City for the £5 million signing of the 29-year-old forward.
There have been more talks over the future of Maraoune Fellaini this week with The Mirror suggesting the Belgian is keen on a move. However they report that Arsenal are not keen to meet the minimum fee release clause currently in the 25-year-olds contract. Arsenal would have to pay £23 million for the midfielder; a fee which represents an £8 million profit from what Everton paid for him in 2008. But Arsene Wenger is said to be unsure whether they could get better value for their money elsewhere and Everton will not budge from their asking price.
Liverpool City Council have purchased Everton’s Finch Farm training ground. The company that previously owned the area were in danger of dissolving until the rescue package was put forward. Everton officials maintain that their lease on the ground remains regardless of change of ownership.
Everton are said to be joining the race for Swansea City defender Ashley Williams. The Wales captain has been linked with Arsenal and Liverpool in the past but Martinez signed him for Swansea from Stockport County and hopes he will be able to tempt him into a move. Napoli are also said to be keen.
Goodison Park is set to be installed with a brand new ‘Rolls-Royce pitch’ this summer. The brand new playing surface is said to be state of the art and will be one of the best pitches in the country when completed. It is being laid in order for Martinez to implement his playing style at the club.
Finally and David Weir has left his coaching role at the club to become the new manager of League One outfit Sheffield United. He takes over from Danny Wilson at the club; saving The Blades bags of cash on re-doing the training kits!
image: © Carlos RM