All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from Goodison Park...
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has been out in Brazil for the World Cup, and whilst he had his credentials taken away in a bizarre incident, the Spaniard has singled out one team in particular for praise - Colombia. The South Americans have won every single game they'v e played in the tournament so far, and Martinez moved to laud Monaco playmaker James Rodriguez in particular.
"Of course, there is James Rodríguez, possibly the outstanding individual of the tournament. He has all the attributes to be a big star. He has long been seen as a player of huge potential — that is why Monaco spent so much money to sign him from Porto last summer — but this is the stage he has needed to show the world. It is always a pleasure to watch a true No. 10 such as him, a player with an eye for a pass, so much creativity and the ability to score goals," said Martinez.
Yesterday, it was reported that former Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry would be signing a permanent deal on Merseyside after an impressive loan spell. Manager Martinez has now said that he is hopeful of landing the former England international, but will respect whatever decision he makes over his future.
"Gareth is such a unique person, I have been so impressed and I think everyone at the club has taken to him," said the former Wigan boss. "For us he would be an important player for the future but we respect him as a human being and we are going to accept whatever he decides and make sure whatever happens we are here to support him in every aspect."
"He has been a special player for us and we will try to give him an incentive to stay even though there is nothing you can say to a player who has experienced everything in the last 10 months," he added. "We all know what Gareth brings and how important that is."
Meanwhile, one of the other players linked with a move to Goodison Park is Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican has been one of the stars of the World Cup having led his side to the quarter finals for the first time in the country's history, and reports in Spain suggested that Martinez saw the 27-year-old as the ideal successor to Tim Howard. Yet after his superb displays in Brazil, Navas has attracted more interest, meaning Everton could miss out.