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The Rumour Mill

Martinez to make Alcaraz his first signing

11/06/2013 | Comments (48)
Roberto Martinez will pick up Antolin Alcaraz on a free transfer from Wigan this summer and offer him a two-year contract at Everton, report The Mirror.

The 30 year-old had an injury-hit campaign for the Latics in Martinez's last season in charge but the Paraguay international would represent good value for the Blues if he can regain his fitness for next term.

Should this speculation prove correct, it would likely hasten John Heitinga's departure from Goodison. The Dutch midfielder has indicated he could look at offers this summer and with him entering the final year of his contract, Everton may feel it's better to cash in now for an estimated £4m than lose him for nothing in a year's time.

Original Source: The Mirror  Rumour source ranking:
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Reader Comments

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James Stewart
125 Posted 12/06/2013 at 00:03:25
Can't say bringing anyone in from Wigan's defence strikes me as a good idea. Forwards yes but their defence was atrocious. Not a good start to transfer business
Sam Hoare
126 Posted 12/06/2013 at 00:05:32
We need depth in the squad and Martinez obviously knows this guy well. On a free transfer with a 2 year contract there is very little downside so why not?
John Shepherd
130 Posted 12/06/2013 at 00:23:31
By all accounts, he never played much of a part in Wigan's demise, so I don't think we can judge him on that. Like I've said on a previous thread about the same player, we got Distin from a relegated team (Pompey). So if he can rid himself of injury, and taking into consideration Distin has only got one more year left, then this makes perfectly good sense. What's the worst that can happen with a free international player?
John Gee
135 Posted 12/06/2013 at 01:51:26
In other news: A tired jaded hack can't be bothered to actually find some news and just sits on his haemorrhoid riven arse making stuff up. He doesn't even care if it's true or even possible, just as long as he makes his column inch quota for the morning.

Malloney seems like a bit of dynamo midfielder which we could do with and McMannaman has potential. Other than those two, I don't see any value in taking any player from Wigan.

Jay Harris
136 Posted 12/06/2013 at 02:26:49
Apparently this guy is good when he's free from injury so would be an ideal "free" squad member.
Jamie Sweet
137 Posted 12/06/2013 at 02:17:53
I think he only played 8 games last season due to injury. Hardly his fault they got relegated. In fact you could argue that as they weren't relegated in the two season when he played regularly, that he probably had a hand in keeping them up.

Didn't he also play the full 90 minutes in the Cup Final? Didn't do too badly then.

I think this is one of the few links so far which just might happen. He's a pretty good player (no worse than Heitinga in my opinion). He'd be on lower wages than JH. So if we brought in Alcaraz and cashed in on Johnny, we would be at least £4million better off and our squad wouldn't suffer in terms of numbers or quality.

I can't say I'd be doing the happy dance if this all happened, but I certainly wouldn't see it as a bad move. More like a shrewd one.

Jim Harrison
140 Posted 12/06/2013 at 03:39:34
New attack minded manager makes first signing........An injury prone ageing centre back from a relegated team to replace a world cup finalist centre back!

Free or not, no inspiration here, would rather get shot of Jonny, bring Duffy through and use Hibbert as cover for centre back, as I remember he was pretty handy when he has had to do it before.

Paul Gladwell
146 Posted 12/06/2013 at 06:22:24
If the lad walked past me in a street I wouldn't recognise him so could not pass judgement on his playing ability, but many will even though they've never seen him play.
But for free it could be ok business as a squad member if we can get shut of Mr mouthpiece, who thinks he's Beckenbauer but actually costs us a goal per game last year, I'm sure Martinez knows this too as he committed a few corkers the last two times he played away at Wigan.
Peter Laverty
147 Posted 12/06/2013 at 06:38:43
Some of the comments on here are astounding. Didn't we sign both Jagielka and Distin from relegated premiership sides? Pretty sure nobody complained when we picked up Baines from the same shoddy Wigan defence a few years back, and we definitely got Lescott from a very average Wolves defence, who were also in the Championship at the time. Add to that Seamus Coleman from a semi professional team in the Irish league.....

I've watched a couple of videos of him and from what I can see he's very good in the air at both ends of the pitch and he can play the ball out of defence. He's free, will be on half the money Heitinga is on and should free up some much needed budget for other areas of the squad.

Ben Mackenzie
149 Posted 12/06/2013 at 07:02:15
Peter Laverty, I couldn't have put it better myself.
Mike Rourke
150 Posted 12/06/2013 at 07:00:36
Seems a pity Johnny's Everton career is written off just like that.

Given Jags and Distin's tendency to howitzer the ball out of defense I would have thought RM would be keen to keep our only ball playing CB.

Whenever he's been given a decent run at the back, and after he's got the rust out of his system, Heitinga has always performed superbly.

I reckon a player of the season renaissance could be on the cards if he stays.

James Elworthy
152 Posted 12/06/2013 at 07:25:52
Heitinga was a disaster last season, even the centred half of Accrington Stanley would be better than him
I have never seen anyone as slow since Mick Bernard
Mike Rourke
153 Posted 12/06/2013 at 07:40:02
Point taken James and if Moyes was still boss then get rid no question.

It just strikes me that as we are now going to be playing out of the back come what may JH could be exactly Martinez's cup of sangria.

John Jones
160 Posted 12/06/2013 at 08:19:45
Think we need 4 centre backs, Jags is Amazing and has proved with England that he can carry other overratted players. Duffy will get his chance this year and Distin well really he is another year older no disrespect to him but he might not be able to play every game next season.

Johnny I just don't get him one bit, looked every bit a world cup finalist the season before last saying that last season OMG! could have been playing for Chester City. Get Rid £4million and Approx £3.5million wages of the books there is only one Answer Bye Bye Johnny.

Alcaraz as cover probably cost us nothing like Johnny would in wages on a free just as a number in the squad...I can't see why not..

Save the money for players we need further forward.

Jim Harrison
161 Posted 12/06/2013 at 08:11:28
Peter, Jags was the stand out performer in his team, Distin similarly an outstanding performer over many seasons. Baines a young hot prospect. Lescott the same. With the exception of Distin all these players have gone on to develop into international team players. Also, all of these players were targeted specifically as opposed to being a ageing out of contract long term injury suffering player. We prattle on here all the time about showing ambition, last season Hanneman's wages were cross examined on more than one occasion.

Cant we aim for better? Use the wages on a better long term option?

Thomas Windsor
162 Posted 12/06/2013 at 08:31:11
Wait till Martinez sees Anichebe in training; he will soon know were he will have to strengthen the team.
Dan McKie
164 Posted 12/06/2013 at 08:43:20
Heitinga has 12 months left on his contract, and has pretty much confirmed he wont sign a new deal (would we even want him too?), so get rid and consider ourselves very lucky if we get anywhere near £4 million.

As for this Alcaraz, Wigan fans really rate him from what I have heard and seen on forums, and many believe more games from him last season would have meant survival.

Also, defence isn't just about the back 4, it's about the team, and that is what worries me about Martinez. Did he have bad defenders, or did the 6 outfield players in front of those defenders not do enough to help them because of his 'philosophy'?

Peter Laverty
166 Posted 12/06/2013 at 08:51:16
I understand what you're saying Jim, and yes, use the money that it will free up getting rid of Johnny for a young left footed centre half, that would be my wish. However slating this guy who is available on a free on the grounds that Wigan got relegated is absurd. Especially when you consider he barely played last year
Sam Hoare
167 Posted 12/06/2013 at 08:55:03
Jim, there are not that many opportunities to bring in experienced Premier League players with a modicum of talent on free transfers with (presumably) reasonable wages.

Hahnemann was different as he was a 3rd choice keeper who was never going to play but we don't have huge depth at CB (especially if Heitinga leaves) so this seems a very sensible and cost-effective move.

If he does well, he could probably provide experienced backup for another 4-5 years. If he doesn't, then he's only on a 2-year contract so not much lost.

Andrew Ellams
169 Posted 12/06/2013 at 09:10:18
I don't see an issue with having some experienced backup. Duffy may well be on the verge of the first team but he is still young and inexperienced so it can't hurt to have a player with more premier league and international experience to turn to if needed.
Dave Paul
170 Posted 12/06/2013 at 09:29:05
Would be a great piece of business... very good player when plays but needs to stay fit. Would cost very little as we need money for creative players further up the field. I think a few people on this site will be saying they made negative assumptions a bit too quickly on this one!
Jon Withey
173 Posted 12/06/2013 at 10:01:03
Trimming the finances a bit if it happens. £4 million wouldn't be bad to put towards something we need a bit more.

I'd love to see the old Johnny back though.

I'm sure Duffy can still get game time, ultimately everyone has to fight for places.

Jim Harrison
175 Posted 12/06/2013 at 10:05:24
Peter and Sam, I concede that I am probably being over harsh on him, but I just can't see the point? Johnny was shit last year, and looks likely to go, so let's use the money sensibly. Moyes was constantly being accused of not bringing younger players through, so I hope Bobby can buck that trend and push our youth players on. It just seems to lack ambition to me.
Kieran Fitzgerald
176 Posted 12/06/2013 at 10:30:53
Just because the guy is free, doesn't mean he won't be expected to pass a medical. Due to his injuries last season it will probably be a more strict medical that usual.

Wigan connection or not, Martinez knows he is going to be working on a budget. Why would he knowingly sign and then agree to pay an injured player just because he had him at Wigan?

I would still hope that the papers are just being lazy on this one. Fair enough, sell Hetinga if he want's to go and it suits us contract wise, but look at the rest of the players on our books first, including youngsters, before you start signing anyone else.

Sam Hoare
177 Posted 12/06/2013 at 10:38:14
Jim, what could be more sensible than the cheap signing of an experienced international pro that the manager knows extremely well as a player and a person?

Duffy will hopefully get more time but is still extremely unproven on the premiership stage so Alcatraz gives us experience and depth at little cost. Surely there's minimal downside here?

Kev Johnson
178 Posted 12/06/2013 at 10:51:43
I strongly recommend the 'All about Roberto Martinez' in TW's 'Elsewhere on the web' section. Very good piece from a knowledgeable and witty Wigan fan. Amongst other things, he has this to say:

"His [RM's]defensive record has been highlighted as a major flaw but it’s all about the personnel. A fit Alcaraz and Ivan Ramis all last year and we would not have gone down. A clearly unfit Caldwell and, well, you saw the rest."

I think we should credit intelligent fans of other teams. They know the situation from the inside. I think the Alcaraz signing will happen.

Sam Hoare
179 Posted 12/06/2013 at 11:21:56
A good read, Kev. I thought this passage sounded pretty familiar:

'Some fans would just prefer a more gung-ho approach and the divide is so fierce that the internet is full of slanging matches and snidey indirect name-calling between the two factions. Sad really that people I’ve known for years will start taking a pop at anything I or anyone writes in support of him and over on Facebook it’s “fuck off and good riddance” from some of my less than eloquent chums. It’s such a divisive matter and it seems the goodwill of the FA Cup hasn’t lasted long.'

Sounds like this particular author was more of a Doddy than a Tony Marsh.

James Martin
180 Posted 12/06/2013 at 11:34:43
Wigan fans love this guy -when he is fit. Don't they all call him 'the rock' after his surname. When he returned to their side last season he was playing during that amazing run of wins at the end that kept them up. On a free and probably not much in wages - nothing to lose on this one.
Kevin Tully
181 Posted 12/06/2013 at 11:29:58
Us footy fans have no logic really - some manure fans are made up to see the back of Fergie, they reckon he's been holding them back in Europe.

One thing's for sure, the press are already at fever pitch, and can't wait to stick the knife in at City, Utd & Chelsea if they don't win the League!

I did like one point in that article Kev, where he says Martinez puts his trust in the players once on the pitch, maybe they were growing a little tired of being bawled at throughout a game. I suppose we'll soon find out.

Kev Johnson
182 Posted 12/06/2013 at 11:42:50
Agreed, Kevin, it sounds like he treats players as grown ups. Mind you, on second thoughts, is that a good thing? Do all of our current players possess the football intelligence and good decision-making necessary to make that work? I think so, but I'm not entirely sure.

As an example, I wonder what kind of instructions Walcott gets from Wenger and Hodgson? He strikes me as a player almost entirely lacking in football intelligence. Rooney, on the other hand, has it in abundance.

Kevin Tully
183 Posted 12/06/2013 at 11:54:24
I think that's one trait our central defenders do possess in abundance really Kev, their positional sense.

Whilst not the best ball playing central defenders, Jag's & Distin don't need to be coached on where they should be on the field, or who they should pass to.

I do wonder if what'shisname will be shouting at his new squad when to pass the ball during a game?

Tom Bowers
184 Posted 12/06/2013 at 12:20:06
When Jags got injured he was really missed. Distin is still decent but cracks are beginning to show. Everton need experienced cover especially if Duffy doesn't step up to the plate when asked so the offer of an experienced free transfer player shouldn't be baulked at...

Heitinga wants to play more often but to me he is only a holding midfielder and would only gt in if Gibbo is injured.

Jon Withey
189 Posted 12/06/2013 at 13:14:45
Football365 say Everton are interested in David Albelda (according to Marca - the sports newspaper here).
Andrew Ellams
215 Posted 12/06/2013 at 14:38:45
I hope not Jon, he is older than Distin
Phil Sammon
229 Posted 12/06/2013 at 15:20:24

Heitinga is categorically not a holding midfielder.

Derek Knox
234 Posted 12/06/2013 at 16:04:33
Our new man RM obviously thinks the Birdman will fit in well at Finch Farm!
Tony Marsh
242 Posted 12/06/2013 at 17:45:28
When Alcaraz played for Wigan at Wembley, I don't recall him doing a Distin and gifting the opposition an easy goal. Anyway, it's been on TalkSport that Werder Bremen and Athletico Madrid are in the running as well so I wouldn't fret too much over him signing or not.
Mick Robinson
257 Posted 12/06/2013 at 18:55:23
Big mistake signing him he Is a liability at the back another Titus bramble and gives pens away for fun swerve him
Duncan McDine
262 Posted 12/06/2013 at 19:23:57
Phil, Heitinga is categorically not a Premier League footballer!!!
James Stewart
266 Posted 12/06/2013 at 19:42:30
@ 262 Agreed the performances of Heitinga were a disgrace last season. When a player in that kind of wretched form keeps his place what message does that send to the likes of Duffy. That bizarre loyalty to players out of form I wont miss about Moyes!
Jay Harris
268 Posted 12/06/2013 at 19:40:26
Have to agree with you Duncan.

Johhny cost us 9 goals last season and is out of contract next year so now is a good time to cash in irrespective of who we bring in.

Ross Edwards
295 Posted 12/06/2013 at 21:44:02
At least we'll have more security at the back...
Ste Carmichael
316 Posted 12/06/2013 at 22:08:18
Why not leave Martinez alone, let him do his best. We have put up with Moyes's negativity for years. A fresh start and forward passing, two up front with Fellaini in his proper position – that's why he will stay...

And get rid of Johnny Dutch – he may've been in World Cup Final but didn't he get sent off?

Jackie Barry
350 Posted 13/06/2013 at 05:12:58
OK so he had a bad season this time round, but you have to question how he can go from being our player of the season the season before to an absolute flop this season. I don't care whether he moves on or not but something wasn't right at our club when it comes to training, Heitinga went down hill, Jela went down hill and all the other forwards. No I'm not blaming our previous manager but wondering what went wrong.
Kieran Fitzgerald
392 Posted 13/06/2013 at 11:40:41
Talking of free agents, apparently David Bentley has been released by Spurs. Unsure as to where his head is, but he could be a player with a serious point to prove. If we get him in the right frame of mind he could strengthen our midfield.
Mick Doherty
399 Posted 13/06/2013 at 12:25:49
Kieran, Bentley has only played around 60 games since 2008, hasn't played for spuds since 2010, I think the championship is his destination.... if he's lucky!
Kieran Fitzgerald
441 Posted 13/06/2013 at 17:12:28
I didn't think he had played so few games Mick. Makes you wonder why no club has come in, even for a loan spell. His head must be all over the place. His fitness is probably gone as well. I was thinking about him during the afternoon and he would have been the type of player that Moyes may have taken a punt on. Not so sure that Martinez would.
Mick Doherty
457 Posted 13/06/2013 at 18:04:17
Kieran, if you will forgive the impertinence, but are you the Kieran Fitzgerald who studied at Athlone RTC circa 1995?

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