Everton: Martinez closes in on giant Ivorian

Roberto Martinez Everton boss

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Everton boss Roberto Martinez is hopeful of completing a loan deal for Monaco forward Lacina Traore this week.

The Ivory Coast international has been granted the necessary work permit to make the switch from Ligue 1 to the Premier League.

However, the top-four chasing Blues are still in talks with Monaco over the terms of the temporary deal.

Martinez remains upbeat as he looks to bolster his attacking options following the sale of Nikica Jelavic to Hull City last week.

The Spaniard said: “He is a very talented footballer and has already had a couple of moves costing nearly £30m.

“We need to go through all the necessary routes to try and hopefully we can do that over the next few days.”

Traore stands 6ft 8in and would give Everton an extra dimension to their attack as they look to keep the pressure on Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League at the end of the season.

Martinez saw his side held to a 1-1 draw at West Brom on Monday night but things get much harder in the league next week after Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at minnows Stevenage is out of the way.

The Blues make the short trip to face Liverpool on Tuesday night (Jan 28) and there are then games at Spurs and Chelsea to play next month which will test Everton’s credentials to the limit.

Martinez’s men currently sit just outside the European places after taking 42 points from 22 games to date and they are 3.98 to take all three points away from Anfield next week.

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