Roberto Martinez is close to making Antolin Alcaraz his first signing as Everton manager.
Alcaraz, who is out of contract at Wigan Athletic and so available on a free transfer, has been talking to Everton for the last few days and an agreement is likely in the near future.
Martinez signed Alcaraz for Wigan in 2010 and is a huge admirer of the Paraguayan international centre-back. Alcaraz is keen to leave Wigan now to play at the highest level and had interest from Benfica, Werder Bremen and Malaga.
But his close personal relationship with Martinez is likely to keep him in England, as he follows Martinez on the short journey from Wigan to Everton.
At Wigan Athletic, Martinez used Alcaraz – an intelligent, ball-playing centre-back – as part of his back three. If Martinez wants to play the same way at Everton, Alcaraz will fit in perfectly in between Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka.
Alcaraz’s third and final season at Wigan was disrupted by bad injury, and he only started eight Premier League games as Wigan were relegated. But he delivered an excellent performance in the FA Cup final, when Wigan beat Manchester City 1-0.
Alcaraz represented Paraguay at the 2010 World Cup and 2011 Copa America.