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Everton reportedly agree fee for midfielder but could be frustrated yet again

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The three remaining weeks of the transfer window could be a long tortuous wait for Evertonians

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Everton look set to miss out on the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri from Inter, with the Swiss midfielder reportedly close to agreeing a move to Stoke.

Stoke pulled out of a deal to sign Shaqiri earlier in the summer when he missed a deadline imposed to the club to reply to their offer.

However, Inter are keen to offload the 23-year-old before the transfer deadline and the Potters have revived their interest.

Shaqiri was spotted at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday for Stoke's game against Liverpool and although manager Mark Hughes was coy about any deal after the game, the fact he was there suggests a transfer is close.

All this leaves Everton yet again frustrated in the transfer market. Conflicting reports suggest Everton are keen on an initial loan deal while Inter want a permanent move in order to raise funds for new signings, meaning they would prefer Shaqiri went to Stoke.

However, there are also reports that Everton have indeed agreed a fee with Inter for the former Bayern Munich man, who has therefore been left with a straight choice between the two clubs.

Losing out on a transfer target to Stoke - if it indeed comes to pass - is pretty humiliating and highlights the club's rapid decline in standing, especially as it doesn't appear to have been the first time this summer that they have missed on out a key potential signing.

Roberto Martinez spoke of his desire to add to the squad before the deadline after the Watford game on Saturday - a result and performance that has only caused concern amongst the support about the state of the squad.

But as yet another target seemingly floats by supporters have good reason to question just what is going on in the corridors of power at Goodison Park.

A summer of inertia has led to frustrations reaching boiling point, and I am clinging to the hope that a busy few weeks before the deadline can reignite some optimism about the new season ahead.