Everton latest: Liverpool midfielder linked again as new stadium bid progresses

Joe Allen Liverpool

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from Goodison Park...

Everton's chances of Champions League qualification suffered a killer blow last night as Arsenal recorded a 3-0 win over Newcastle United, meaning they are just one win away from securing the fourth spot in the Premier League, thus ending Everton's hopes. The Toffees have to keep believing and with a tough game against Manchester City, Roberto Martinez's side will need everyone on top form, and could be boosted by the return of central defenders Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin.

"Phil has done really well in his programme and has developed strength in his muscles," Martinez said. "He looks completely regenerated and is desperate to be available. It will be a late call whether he is available or not but I would be surprised if he doesn't make the squad for Saturday.

"Sylvain Distin again is pushing himself to be available. We need to carry on with the programme that he has and make sure that the treatment is bringing a good effect. I would say he is 50-50 for the weekend but now we have hope that we will see Sylvain before the season ends which is a fantastic bonus," he added.

Meanwhile, at today's annual general meeting, chief executive Robert Elstone admitted that the clubs plans for a new 50,000 seater stadium have been given a boost as they look to leave Goodison Park - their home since 1892.

"We are excited about it. There is a lot of work going on, and if it comes to fruition we think it is something our fans and the city will be very proud of."

"It remains a big priority. We're not ruling out any of the sites that we've identified, but there is one site that's been getting more attention for a number of months."

"It's been worked on very carefully and diligently, not only Everton but also by the council, planners, architects, advisers, cost consultants, regeneration experts, solicitors and so on," said Elstone.

The progress on and off the pitch for the Toffees is making them an attractive prospect, and manager Martinez is expecting to use that to his advantage in this summer's transfer window. A number of names have already been linked, but one is particularly interesting - Joe Allen. The Liverpool midfielder played under Martinez at Swansea and would join the exclusive list of players who have made the move across Stanley Park, as the Welshman could be eyed up to replace Gareth Barry this summer.

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