Everton planning Jack Rodwell return
Roberto Martinez is planning a summer move to bring midfielder Jack Rodwell back to Everton from Manchester City on a permanent deal, sources have told ESPN FC.
Rodwell, who celebrates his 23rd birthday on Tuesday, has struggled to make an impact at City since making a 12 million pound move from Goodison Park in August 2012.
The England international still has three years to run on his contract at the Etihad Stadium, but Martinez is hopeful of persuading him to return to Merseyside.
Martinez tried to secure a loan deal for Rodwell on the final day of the transfer window, but it fell through when City failed with their own bid to sign Brazilian midfielder Fernando from Porto.
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Had they brought in Rodwell then, Everton would also have pushed through with a one million pound move to make fellow midfielder Gareth Barry’s temporary deal permanent, as Premier League rules prevent a club having two players on loan from the same team.
Barry will be out of contract at the Etihad Stadium in the summer, which is also when his Everton loan deal expires, and Martinez is keen to retain the 33-year-old’s experience.
Rodwell will probably have to leave City in order to resurrect a career that has stalled since his move away from Goodison Park.
The midfielder has made only eight appearances since Manuel Pellegrini replaced Roberto Mancini as manager at the Etihad Stadium last summer.
And he has not figured at all since he was substituted at half-time in an FA Cup fourth-round tie against Watford on Jan. 25, with City losing 2-0 before fighting back to win 4-2.
Another Everton loanee, Romelu Lukaku has called on the team to rediscover their cutting edge in order to salvage a place in Europe for next season.
The Toffees’ poor away form since the turn of the year has effectively ended their Champions League chances, and they face a battle to qualify for the Europa League.
Martinez’s side have lost their last four away matches, with the most recent defeat ending their FA Cup run as Arsenal beat them 4-1 in Saturday’s quarterfinal.
Everton have not managed an away league victory in 2014, collecting just two points from five top-flight matches on their travels.
Their last three away league games have all been against teams currently in the top five -- Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea -- and Lukaku has urged his teammates to take advantage of a potentially easier run of fixtures.
Everton host struggling Cardiff this Saturday, then Swansea seven days later, before rounding off March with visits to Newcastle and Fulham.
Belgium international striker Lukaku, on a season’s loan from Chelsea, told Everton’s website: “Getting into Europe is still the aim but we have to start winning games.
“We have a good schedule ahead at this moment and we have to make the best of it. We want to go on a good run now.
“We create enough chances to win every game but we have to be clinical.”
Everton must finish fifth or sixth to qualify for next season’s Europa League.
They currently lie seventh, behind sixth-placed Manchester United on goal difference, although the have a game in hand on the defending champions.
Meanwhile, Everton have recalled midfielder John Lundstram from his loan spell at Championship side Yeovil.
The 20-year-old, who had been on loan at Huish Park since November, scored two goals in 16 starts for the Glovers.