News and gossip from the past week at Goodison Park.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has insisted that ‘icon’ Leighton Baines is vital to the future of the club. Manchester United made a £12 million bid for the 28-year-old left-back last week with former Toffees boss David Moyes keen to reunite himself with his former star player. However Martinez remains adamant that the England international is not for sale.
The Spaniard has also been speaking about potential player arrivals at the club. He stated that the club is looking to add ‘three or four’ new players to the current squad. It is also seems that the players he will approach are from Wigan Athletic after dropping this hint:
"They are players that I know really, really well. I worked with them really closely and they are players that are used to the Premier League and the British game.’’
Two players that look like being on their way from the DW to Goodison are Arouna Kone and Antolin Alcaraz. The Ivorian striker is expected to cost around £5 million and new Wigan manager Owen Coyle recently admitted that the striker would be allowed to leave this summer. Alcaraz however is expected to be available on a free transfer.
Everton have also been linked with Swansea City winger Nathan Dyer this week in a £5 million move. Martinez originally signed the player when in charge of Swansea; in a £400k deal from Southampton. The 25-year-old has one year left on his current deal and Martinez is keen to sign the Englishman again.
Another Everton man has followed Moyes to Manchester United. Robbie Cooke has gone to Old Trafford as chief scout and joins Steve Round, Chris Woods and Jimmy Lumsden in making the switch to Old Trafford.
Phil Neville, who was linked with taking a coaching role at Goodison this summer after announcing his retirement from playing, has also joined the coaching staff at Manchester United.
The backroom staff who have left have however been replaced; with Graeme Jones, Kevin Reeves and Inaki Bergara all making the move from Wigan to Everton.
image: © ericthefish