The prospect of Romelu Lukaku returning to Everton is not as bleak as the media would have had us believe over the past few months.
After virtually writing off the chances of Everton completing the permanent signing of Gareth Barry, the press followed up with reports that Lukaku was off to Atletico Madrid, Tottenham, even Liverpool briefly - but he surely wouldn't be returning to Everton.
I think this actually reflects a misunderstanding about the way Everton do business. And I don't just mean since Roberto Martinez joined the club. Everton have always gone about their transfer dealings with quiet but persuasive purpose, determined to get the right deal no matter how long it takes.
This has backfired a couple of times as deadline day moves for Vadis-Odjidja Ofoe and Leroy Fer fell through due to paperwork problems and a problematic medical (though the latter's performance for Norwich has hardly set the world on fire so perhaps was a lucky escape).
It might be partly due to the fact that the Toffees don't have the profile or resources of the Manchester clubs, Chelsea or even Tottenham or Liverpool that they are able to conduct business out of the spotlight. But they also have the power of misdirection when it comes to alerting the press to what they are doing.
Remember in 2008, when everyone thought they had no transfer budget due to their apparent struggle to put together a permanent package for Steven Pienaar, a generously structured deal for injury-prone Louis Saha from Manchester United and signing Carlo Nash as 'keeper back-up?
Then, out of the blue on deadline day David Moyes suddenly revealed they had broken their transfer record to acquire Marouane Fellaini in a £15million coup. What a piece of business that turned out to be.
While the press were consumed with the distraction of the Fellaini/Baines/ to United on/off saga last year, plus the protracted acquisition of James McCarthy from his old team, Wigan, Martinez stole in with the triple loan signings of Barry, Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu that, arguably, eclipsed the rest in terms of importance to the team.
Everton just don't tend to discuss their deals or divulge their targets publicly. The fact that they had stopped talking about the Barry situation and, lately, the Lukaku position too, has led the press to believe that the deals were dead in the water. I am sure Everton's representatives were in constant touch with Barry's people and with the Chelsea hierarchy over Lukaku. The first bore fruit and perhaps the second will as well.
Maybe having limited resources does have its compensations as the need for secrecy means the opposition often remain unaware of potential deals until they have practically happened. This avoids bidding wars and deal-spoiling, which seems to go on especially among the bigger clubs.
While the press can go haring off to fill their space with their latest flight of fancy over whom the Merseysiders might sign next they, will quietly pursue their genuine targets - and probably land most of them.
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