January transfer window ins and outs at Everton

Posted by Luke O'Farrell

Tony Marshall/Getty ImagesLeighton Baines could be the centre of attention once again at Everton.

The second transfer window of the season is often a welcome sight for Everton, with most of the better business of recent years occurring in this window, although the astute work of the summer did provide a notable exception.

There is the option of securing Gareth Barry on a permanent deal, with Manchester City open to a reduced fee for a player nearing the end of his contract, but Roberto Martinez is prepared to wait and let Barry decide his future as a free agent when the season ends.

Aiden McGeady is a more likely addition, with Martinez a longtime admirer of the Spartak Moscow winger. Out of favour at his current club, McGeady is available on a free this summer, but reports suggest Everton will pick up the remainder of his current deal to enable his arrival this window.

Others linked include Marseille's Jordan Ayew and former loanee Landon Donovan, although another move for the Galaxy player seems increasingly unlikely. Martinez is also keen on short-term cover for the injured duo of Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone.

With Gerard Deulofeu joining Kone in the treatment room, further attacking options certainly would bolster the squad. The future of Nikica Jelavic remains uncertain; Romelu Lukaku is returning to Chelsea at the end of the season; and there is only Apostolos Vellios after that.

After a summer of derisory offers that did little more than burn bridges, David Moyes might renew his bid to prise away Leighton Baines. Any considerable bid might test the Everton resolve, with Baines, 29, still to sign a new deal and Bryan Oviedo waiting in the wings.

On the flip side of this, though, Baines remains a key part of the Goodison setup, and the manager gave recent assurances to supporters about his immediate future. "I can guarantee that Leighton will be here at the end of the season," Martinez said. "That is 100 percent."

Despite turning down a move to West Ham, John Heitinga looks set to be the first through the exit door; Newcastle and one or two Serie A clubs are among those interested. Without a single league appearance by him this season, a move suits both parties, and his departure would save Everton about 1.5 million pounds in wages.

Jelavic, seeking increased game time in this World Cup year, is another who could leave for pastures new. Martinez is willing to listen to offers for the forward, but the Blues would require a replacement before facilitating any sale.

Elsewhere, recent outlandish rumours hinted at a Manchester United move for Ross Barkley, but they soon crumbled on the same wave of absurdity they rode in on. Everton are unwilling to sell, and the youngster is thought to be close to agreeing a new long-term contract.

One thing is certain, however, whether it is incomings or outgoings, Martinez will not sanction any transfers unless they benefit the squad. For the first time in a long time, thanks to the outrageous TV deal, the need to sell in order to buy has gone.


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