Everton latest: First summer signing 'almost over the line'

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Everton were well represented in Roy Hodgson's England squad last week, as defender Phil Jagielka and midfielder Ross Barkley were named in the 23-man squad that will travel to Brazil this summer, whilst defender John Stones was named on the standby list. Jagielka should partner Gary Cahill in defence, and the Toffees skipper believes his team mate Barkley will have a part to play.

"Ross is a fantastic player," said Jagielka. "He's very frustrating to play against because he has got a tremendous amount of ability. I'm not 100 per cent sure what role he will have during the World Cup but I'm sure it will be a very important one, whether he'll be starting or coming off the bench.

"He's grown not only as a player but as a person in the last 12 months. You can see the confidence of playing week in, week out has helped his game develop. We still must not forget he is only 20 years old and hopefully there will be a lot more World Cups and a lot more international appearances for Ross in his career," the centre back added.

"But no doubt we as a nation will get a little bit carried away this year in the World Cup and hopefully we'll be shouting about Ross at the end of it," he concluded.

Meanwhile, manager Roberto Martinez is planning for next season after guiding the Toffees to a fifth place finish, and says that the World Cup could delay some of his transfer plans this summer.

"Recruitment is going to be important," Martinez said, "The right characters need to come to the club and we need to be large enough in terms of numbers to face every competition with a real desire to hit good performances. I do feel we have to be really clear in what we need, who we bring in, and it is going to take until the last day of the window to finalise the squad."

'It is a World Cup year and things will get delayed and certain situations will be worth us waiting until the last second to see if they happen or not and that is something we are well in control of," added the Spaniard.

Despite Martinez saying some deals will take longer to complete, the Toffees are on the verge of tying up their first deal of the summer as Shelbourne youngster Ryan Robinson looks poised to move, with Shelbourne manager John McDonnell believes that the defender will complete his move sooner rather than later.

"Everton are chipping away with us on Ryan at the moment and we hope to get the deal over the line soon," he told the Irish Examiner. "The initial fee won't make us millionaires, but we'll make sure it's heavy on the end of it. It might be better for us to go for the add-ons and everything else."

"Ryan certainly has a big future in the game. Everton would have seen a rawness to him, but he has a lot going for him. We'd have no problem allowing him to move on to a better level in England," he added.

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