Roberto Martinez believes Gareth Barry is a "perfect fit" for Everton as he tries to sign the midfielder on a permanent deal.
Barry spent last season on loan at Goodison Park and made 37 appearances in all competitions as they finished fifth in the Premier League.
The midfielder is out-of-contract with parent club Manchester City, and is set for talks with the Toffees in the coming days, sources have told ESPN.
Martinez was prepared to sign Barry permanently in January as part of an attempt to bring former Evertonian Jack Rodwell back to the club on loan from City.
That was the proposed solution to getting round a rule that prevents more than one player from one Premier League club being on loan to another at the same time.
But when the move for Rodwell fell through, Martinez decided to wait until the summer to try to sign up Barry permanently.
The Everton manager told the Liverpool Echo: "Gareth is such a unique person, I have been so impressed and I think everyone at the club has taken to him.
"For us he would be an important player for the future. But we respect him as a human being and we are going to accept whatever he decides. We will make sure that whatever happens, we are here to support him in every aspect.
"He has been a special player for us and we will try to give him an incentive to stay -- even though there is nothing you can say to a player who has experienced everything in the last 10 months.
"Football happiness is a major aspect any footballer chases. Gareth and Everton are a perfect fit and the way he has been performing shows he has that footballing happiness.
"We all know what Gareth brings and how important that is."