Everton hope to complete the signings of David Henen and Muhamed Besic early next week as they continue to pursue a club record deal for the Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku.
Besic, a Bosnia-Herzegovina midfielder, has accompanied Roberto Martínez’s squad to Thailand for a pre-season friendly against Leicester City on Sundaydespite not finalising his proposed transfer from Ferencvaros. A £4m deal has been agreed with the Hungarian club but an issue over agents’ fees has delayed the move.
The 21-year-old Berlin-born midfielder is still regaining fitness following a post-World Cup holiday and will become Everton’s second midfield acquisition of the summer, following the signing of Gareth Barry, should the deal go through. Martínez explained that Besic’s place on the Thailand trip “will allow Mo to meet the players but more importantly it is an opportunity for him to get into optimum condition ahead of the new season”.
Everton also expect to sign Anderlecht’s promising 18-year-old forward Henen having agreed a £1.5m fee for the Belgium youth international. The teenager spent last season on loan at Monaco B and is earmarked for a place in Everton’s under-21 squad for next season, although it is the addition to the first-team ranks of his compatriot Lukaku that remains Martínez’s priority.
The Everton manager is prepared to spend the vast majority of his transfer budget on the forward, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at Goodison Park last season, and negotiations between the clubs are continuing amid rival interest in the 21-year-old. Lukaku would become Everton’s record signing should a deal be reached for the £20m-rated striker but Martínez has not ruled out the prospect of acquiring the Belgium international on another season-long loan.