The Dutch defender Alexander Buttner's transfer from Vitesse Arnhem to Manchester United moved a step closer yesterday when he flew to England for a medical with the club.
Buttner, 23, would become United's second recent Dutch acquisition following Robin van Persie's move from Arsenal to Old Trafford last week. The player, who had been linked with possible moves to Queen's Park Rangers, Fulham and Southampton, said before he left Schipol Airport in Amsterdam bound for Manchester that he was hoping the United deal would be completed soon.
"If a week ago, you told me that together with Robin van Persie I would be playing at Manchester United, I would have driven you straight to the madhouse," he said. "One month ago Manchester United sent an email expressing their interest, but in the last four days it became concrete. I have not spoken yet with Sir Alex Ferguson, but if all goes well that will happen."
Buttner was included in a provisional Netherlands squad for Euro 2012, but did not make the final 23. He has made 107 appearances for Arnhem, scoring 10 times.
The Everton striker Victor Anichebe is hoping he can finally show Everton fans what he is capable of this season.The forward made his debut for the Toffees as a 17-year-old and scored his first Premier League goal in May 2006, but in six further seasons at Goodison Park he has averaged just over 20 games as injuries have taken their toll on him.
The last three campaigns have been particularly frustrating, Anichebe making only 46 appearances, the majority of them from the bench.
A groin injury was his main problem last season, ruling him out until January, but when he did return he scored five goals in 14 appearances, and he is optimistic he can pick up where he left off.
The 24-year-old said: "My aim is to stay fit. Last season I came back and I scored five goals in not so many appearances so towards the end of last season I did pretty well. Hopefully this year I can stay injury-free and I never know where that will take me. I'm sure I've put all that stuff behind me now. I've been unfortunate in the past but that's nothing I can dwell on."
The Toffees yesterday confirmed the capture of the Belgium forward Kevin Mirallas on a four-year contract after agreeing an undisclosed fee with Olympiakos, although last night's game against United came too soon for the new boy.
Anichebe is pleased to have some more competiton for places at Goodison and hope the club's new signing can combine with last season's sensation Nikola Jelavic – even if that means opportunities are harder to come by for him. The 24-year-old added: "Nicky was a top signing for us. No one really expected him to blow up like he did. It's good for me as well to see how he plays. The fact he scored really crucial goals was a big boost for us and really good for the fans.
"It's great competition when you see new players coming in. It can only push you on and make you improve so it's great for everyone."