• Premier League

Kone nears Everton switch

ESPN staff
July 3, 2013
Arouna Kone looks set to be Roberto Martinez's first signing © PA Photos

Wigan striker Arouna Kone is closing in on a £5 million transfer to Everton, where he will become Roberto Martinez's first signing.

Kone, 29, is set to be reunited with his former manager at Goodison Park, with Wigan chairman Dave Whelan saying he expects the FA Cup-winners' top scorer to join the Toffees.

West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace were also interested in the Ivory Coast international, but Whelan echoed new Wigan manager Owen Coyle by stating his belief that Kone would be moving to Merseyside.

"Three clubs have made offers for him - Everton is definitely one - as he had a clause in his contract that he could go if someone paid £5m," Whelan told Sky Sports.

"It is really up to him where he wants to go now, and I think he will go to Everton."

Kone, a £4m signing from Levante last summer, scored 13 goals but was unable to prevent Wigan's relegation to the Championship.

Last month, the Sun reported him as saying: "You always have ambitions as a footballer, and I don't intend to play in the English second division."

Martinez is also expected to bring former Wigan defender Antolin Alcaraz, who is available on a free transfer after his contract at the DW Stadium expired, to Everton.

The Spaniard has taken assistant manager Graeme Jones, chief scout Kevin Reeves and goalkeeping coach Inaki Bergara to Goodison with him, and Whelan confirmed that Wigan would not receive compensation for them.

"We wouldn't even attempt to [get it] for staff who worked with Roberto as we got what was due to us for Roberto," he added.

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