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Everton hopeful of successful swoop for Barcelona defender

| 14.12.2014

Everton are preparing to launch a January swoop on Barcelona in a bid to beef up the injury-hit defence at Goodison Park, reports suggest.

Toffees boss Roberto Martinez has seen his back four blighted by injury for much of the current campaign and has identified Douglas as a top New Year target.

The 24-year-old, who started for Brazil at Under-20 level, has struggled to settle at the Nou Camp since make the switch from Sao Paulo in the summer.

The right-back has featured in just two league games for the Catalan side and after seeing him left out of the recent Champions League squad for the match against PSG, Martinez believes a deal can be struck.

Everton have an existing relationship with Barca, having taking Gerard Deulofeu on a successful season-long loan last year, and while a permanent transfer for Douglas is the ultimate aim a temporary switch could also be in the offing.

Martinez’s side have suffered long-term injuries to both John Stones and Antolin Alcaraz this season, while Leighton Baines has also been sidelined at times, and as a result the Toffees have already conceded 23 goals.

With this total exceeded by only relegation-threatened QPR, Burnley and Leicester Martinez is keen to add to his squad and Douglas could fit the bill.

The Merseysiders play host to QPR this weekend and go into the game as 4/9 favourites but, with the defensive frailties clear for all to see it promises to be a tough tie for the Toffees.

QPR can be backed at 13/2 to claim an away win but with Harry Redknapp’s men equally-porous at the backing the 7/2 on a share of the spoils could prove a shrewd pick.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.