Everton FC: 5 Potential January Transfer Deadline Day Targets

Matt Cheetham@@Matt_CheethamCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2013

Everton FC: 5 Potential January Transfer Deadline Day Targets

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    The final 24 hours of the January transfer window are once again upon us, bringing the usual deluge of rumours, gossip and imprecise links.

    Everton have been unsuccessful in their business so far this month and will be looking to be active over the final few hours of the window.

    This time last year Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar were ushered through the door late on, a scenario David Moyes will be hoping to repeat 12 months on.

    Both those signings have been integral to the Toffees' impressive form that sees them tantalisingly close to the Champions League places, a far cry from a year ago.

    Having been dormant for several transfer windows, the transactions of 2012 fully depict just how much of a positive effect the right buy can have.

    Here's a look at five players the Toffees may be considering to help in their quest for Champions League football.

Alvaro Negredo

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    As we enter the final hours, the hype and clamour surrounding Everton has suddenly focused around Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo (via BBCSport).

    It seems the Toffees will be hoping to negotiate with the cash-stricken Spanish side and land the striker for a fee around the £8 million mark (via the Telegraph).

    Everton's main area of concern is midfield, but securing the services of a top-class striker—as Negredo clearly is—would be a massive coup for the Toffees and would be excellent business.

    Nikica Jelavic has been misfiring for much of the season and aside from Victor Anichebe, David Moyes is void of any other forward options.

    Everton haven't won a league game by more than a goal since September and have already drawn 11 this season, emphasising just how tight their matches often are.

    The presence of a proven predatory striker would close out more games and provide instant momentum to the Toffees' top-four aspirations.

Leroy Fer

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    Yes, this deal is supposedly dead in the water, as Everton announced very publicly on Wednesday (via SkySports.com).

    Having undergone a medical at Goodison Park, the Toffees were not satisfied with Fer's potential durability and tried restructuring the £8.6 million offer.

    With a figure already set, Twente balked at any further negotiations, but it wouldn't be entirely surprising if things changed during the final few few hours of deadline day.

    Fer is an ideal fit for Everton. He would provide pace, energy and physicality in the heart of the Toffees' midfield, and if the club can find a way to get a suitable deal back on the table there's still a chance of a last-minute arrangement. 

Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe

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    Naturally the moment it seems the Toffees are unable to land their No. 1 target in central midfield, attention turns to who else would be on Moyes' wish-list.

    Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe was moments away from securing a season-long loan at the Toffees during the summer and, predictably, has once again been linked to the club the moment Fer's deal collapsed (via the Mirror).

    This would still make sense, given how close he previously was to joining.  

    The Belgian international is clearly a player Moyes has tracked meticulously and will be well-versed on his qualities—although it's also worth noting his lack of form for much of this season.

    Everton are certainly in need of an extra body in the middle of the field, but whether that leads to a return for Odjidja-Ofoe remains to be seen.

John Stones

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    Everton have suffered from a lack of available right-backs over much of this season.

    All three of Seamus Coleman, Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville have suffered injuries and, when fit, none of the trio have been entirely consistent on the field.

    Coleman will contest the right-back berth for the considerable future, but there are question marks about the longevity of his ageing teammates.

    Everton have been linked with Barnsley's John Stones throughout January, and any move for the player would be a savvy transaction by the club (via the Mirror).

    The right-back appears to be a high calibre player, and his rumoured price of £3 million seems a bargain.

    He could compete with Coleman and also has the attributes to eventually convert to centre-back, bringing the type of versatility David Moyes craves.

    Wigan appear to be in the box seat for this one at the moment (via SkySports.com), but don't be surprised if the Toffees enter the equation late on.

Sam Byram

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    Continuing with the right-back theme, Sam Byram is another name Moyes is supposedly keeping tabs on (via the Mirror).

    The Leeds United starlet also has the versatility to appear further forward and would provide cover along the entire right flank.

    His stock will have risen after an impressive recent FA Cup outing against Tottenham, where he did well to suppress the influence of Gareth Bale.

    This performance—and a recent new contract—may make his acquisition a touch harder than Stones', but he seems an equally talented prospect who will soon be playing in the Premier League.