Jo edges closer to Everton switch - Everton FC latest

BRAZILIAN striker Jo travelled with Everton to their Scottish training camp yesterday, increasing hopes that he may be on the brink of reaching agreement over a further year's loan.

Goodison officials have been negotiating with their Manchester City counterparts over extending the forward's loan, after a successful spell during the second half of last season.

But his surprise appearance at Finch Farm yesterday for fitness tests, followed by his journey north with the Everton party for the first official day of pre-season training suggests the two parties could be close to agreement.

Jo remains a Manchester City player, but with City having already signed Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn this summer and Carlos Tevez expected to cross Manchester shortly, Jo appears surplus to requirements at Eastlands.

Everton cannot afford to match the £18m City paid CSKA Moscow last July, but Jo's successful loan spell at Goodison – when he scored five goals in 11 appearances – means that the Blues would welcome him back for a further period on-loan.

Meanwhile Everton are expected to confirm the signing of 22-year-old American midfielder Anton Peterlin this week.

Peterlin will be manager David Moyes’s first summer signing, after impressing on a 10-day trial last season, when he was able to attend the FA Cup victory over Middlesbrough.

The FA Cup finalists returned to training yesterday with Peterlin declaring: “I am not sure how often miracles happen, but I will not squander this opportunity.”

Moving from Ventura County Fusion for a nominal fee, he is expected to complete the details of a one-year contract.

Fusion play in the fourth tier of US football – the Premier Development League – but Moyes declared: “Anton really impressed myself and the coaching staff with his attitude and undoubted ability.”

Peterlin added: “The trial period I was there was great. To play alongside some great names like Phil Neville, Tim Cahill and Tim Howard was an experience.

“Their poise on the ball was terrific and they demand the highest level out of your play every time out.”

Senior stars Yakubu, Phil Neville, Dan Gosling and Leon Osman all reported back for pre-season training at Finch farm yesterday, before heading to Scotland for a short training camp.

“It’s good to be back,” said Leon Osman. “It’s been nice to have a break and recharge the batteries but now the hard work begins again.

“It’s also great to see all the lads who are here again – everyone’s happy to be back and the banter’s in full flow already. Now we’ve just got to focus on being ready for Arsenal and what will hopefully be another successful season for us.”

The Blues will spend four days north of the border, before returning on Friday for the opening pre-season friendly at Bury. The match forms the curtain-raiser to the League Two club’s 125th anniversary season.

It will be The Shakers’ first game since the disappointment of missing out on promotion after losing to Shrewsbury in the League Two play-offs, and Everton’s first match since the FA Cup final disappointment.

Everton skipper Neville, raised in Bury, said: “I think everyone knows about my links to the club and it will be a pleasure to go back there. I’m sure it will be an enjoyable day but it also represents the first game of what is a very important pre-season for us.”

The Blues will field a number of youngsters, with players involved in end of season clashes, like England defender Joleon Lescott, not due to return to training until next week, while Steven Pienaar, Tim Cahill, Tim Howard, Jack Rodwell and Joseph Yobo have been given a further fortnight’s rest after their exertions in the Confederations Cup, European Under-21 Championships and World Cup qualifiers.