Everton are set to announce the signing of Arouna Kone today as the Merseysiders prepare for life without David Moyes.
Kone will be the first signing in the post-Moyes era and the Independent report that new boss Roberto Martinez is determined to make sure Leighton Baines doesn’t follow his former boss to Old Trafford.
Martinez brought Kone to England
Martinez wants to keep the foundations of the squad, that finished 6th last season, together and make small changes to give the club that extra push. He worked with Kone last season after signing the Ivory Coast international for £2m from Spanish Club Levante.
Kone scored 13 goals in his debut season in English football and helped Wigan win the FA Cup, their only ever major honour. Martinez believes the striker will improve if he is surrounded by better players as he will be at Goodison Park.
Everton beat Newcastle for Kone’s signature
Everton will pay a fee of around £5m for Kone club and have won a battle with Newcastle for the striker’s signature. Kone has played for other big clubs in Europe. He won two Dutch League titles with PSV before joining Sevilla.
He struggled for form during his four years at Sevilla but revitalised his career at Levante. He will be remembered at the Valencia club for scoring a winning goal against Real Madrid and firing the club to sixth in La Liga, their highest ever finish.
Everton don’t need to sell Baines
The Independent also report that if Martnez is forced to sell Marouane Fellaini, because of a £23.5m release clause, then he will resist even bids of over £20m for Baines.
Moyes would like to bring Baines to Manchester United but his priority is to sort out Wayne Rooney’s situation and also to bring in Thiago Alcantara from Barcelona.