The offseason is also fondly known as the silly season as well. With the advent of social media, rumors get flung along at twice the speed of light and there really are no secrets any more in the world of football. With the World Cup slowly playing out, there has been a bigger focus on club football this week.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez is back at Finch Farm after an excellent stint as analyst for the ESPN commentary team in Brazil. He was hardly back for a few hours before the first full signing of the summer was announced, with Gareth Barry putting pen to the paper for a 3-year contract. Here are some other players that the Blues have been linked with -
Martinez has said a few times that he doubts he will be able to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Goodison again, either on a loan deal or via outright purchase. While interest in Lukaku has cooled after an indifferent World Cup, he remains a proven scorer in the Premier League and teams as varied as Juventus and Atletico Madrid are reportedly interested.
With one Chelsea striker unattainable, Everton have been linked with a loan deal for another out-of-favor Stamford Bridge forward, Demba Ba. There is however a major stumbling block there, his £80,000 weekly salary puts him out of Everton's range.
As previously reported on this site, Martinez could use his Catalan links to bring in another highly rated Barcelona youngster. Mali-born winger Adama Traore is only eighteen and the club are quite impressed with the progress shown by Gerard Deulofeu in his single season here, and could be looking at a similar deal.
Ecuador forward Enner Valencia had a very good tournament in Brazil, and has issued a "come get me" plea, with a whole host of clubs now interested: Porto, Sporting Lisbon, Sevilla, Valencia, Fiorentina, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, West Ham United, Newcastle, Augsburg and Hertha Berlin.
Giorgios Samaras is out of contract at Scottish club Celtic. The Hoops do want him back but rumor has it that Galatasaray and Everton are interested in the Greek international in what would be a free transfer.
Meanwhile, there are no confirmed reports about this yet, but Everton have apparently triggered the release clause for Colombian international midfielder Carlos Sanchez Moreno. The 28-year old has been at the World Cup with a very impressive Colombian team, and has apparently piqued the interest of Martinez. Everton will pay €2m to Spanish club Elche, but this could turn into a complicated transfer situation as Elche own only 25% of the players rights, with a sports management firm owning 50% and the remaining 25% with another firm.
Bosnia and Herzegovina midfielder Muhamed Besic caught the eye during the World Cup with some impressive performances. Spanish side Sevilla are leading the chase for the 21-year old, though Everton are reported to be interested along with Swansea City and Sunderland. The Blues have reportedly made a £2.5 million bid for him.
Update - Apparently Ferencvaros have accepted a £4m bid from Everton. We'll keep you posted as we hear more.
Everton were linked with Gabon international midfielder Bruno Ecuele Manga last summer and his name has popped up again. The Lorient player is supposedly being targeted by Southampton as a replacement for Dejan Louvren, with a price tag of less than £10 million. With Everton's pipeline of young defenders like John Stones, Luke Garbutt and Tyias Browning, it's hard to see this one going through.
Algerian midfielder Yacine Brahimi also had a good World Cup but Porto have stolen a march on a bunch of other clubs by opening talks with his club Granada. Apart from Everton, Liverpool and Spurs are also said to be interested as are Udinese. Porto's initial €11 million offer has been rejected, with Granada expected to want something closer to his release clause of €25 million.
Another former Premier League player is expected to return to England. Salomon Kalou impressed in Ligue 1 across the channel last season, scoring 16 times for Lille who could be looking for about £5 million. Arsenal, Everton, Liverpool, Tottenham, Roma and Monaco are all in the hunt.
France international midfielder Josuha Guilavogui is looking to leave Atletico Madrid, with both VfL Wolfsburg and Everton looking at him. He has fallen out of favor with Diego Simeone and despite having been capped five times for Les Blues, did not travel to Brazil with the French side. Guilavogui signed a five-year deal when he joined Atletico last summer and would command a fee of around £9m.
Former Blue and current Manchester City misfit Jack Rodwell is up for sale, with new signing Fernando pushing him even lower in the pecking order. Everton are rumored to be a potential destination, with Tottenham and Newcastle also expected to be in the mix. There are also rumors that City would offer up Rodwell as part of a Ross Barkley package, but those seem pretty far-fetched.
Update: Up to eight other Premier League teams could be in for Rodwell - Newcastle, Sunderland, Stoke, Southampton, West Ham, Tottenham, Swansea, West Brom. European sides Inter Milan, Valencia and Villarreal are also talking to him.
Cameroon international Alex Song ended his World Cup in ignominy with an idiotic kung-fu style attack on Mario Mandzukic. Barcelona and new manager Luis Enrique have stated he will not be part of their future plans, and Everton, Manchester United and Inter Milan are all keeping tabs on the situation, but no offers have been tabled.
Speaking of United, now that they have signed Ander Herrera, could that be what they were waiting for to let Tom Cleverley go to Everton?
Stay tuned to Royal Blue Mersey next week as we stay up to date with the latest Everton transfer news.