Apr 142015

Everton will back Roberto Martinez in the transfer window once again this summer as he looks to add quality rather than quantity to his squad.

The Blues boss is only targeting a handful of new signings to join a squad he believes will be back challenging for European qualification again next season.

Martinez will prioritise finding a new centre-half and a midfield playmaker in the close season and has already identified his targets.

The Catalan has also put Tom Cleverley on his wishlist, with the Manchester United midfielder commanding no transfer fee as he becomes a free agent in the summer.

Martinez had prompted some concern among supporters when, speaking after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Swansea City, he responded to a question about possible funds this summer by responding tongue-in-cheek: “When you haven’t got too much money, it’s about being creative.”

However, the ECHO understands the Blues boss will have ample funds at his disposal during the forthcoming window.

Discussions about signing the on-loan Aaron Lennon on a permanent deal will wait until the end of the season but Tottenham Hotspur are said to holding out for a fee of £6million for the 27-year-old winger.

Lennon has impressed since joining in January – scoring twice – but no decision has been made by Martinez on whether to try and keep him at Goodison.

Martinez, Joe Royle and members of the Academy staff will also make a judgement on loanee David Henen in the next month.

The Belgian forward is on a season-long deal from Olympiakos and has been playing for the under-21s but Everton have the option to sign the 18-year-old for a fee of just over £200,000.

But Martinez, who is expected to allow out-of-contract duo Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz to leave Everton, is not planning on any sweeping changes this summer.

The Everton manager does not anticipate selling any players this summer, while young defenders Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway will feature more regularly in the first-team from August.

And the 41-year-old Martinez believes the Everton squad will be significantly stronger next term having endured such a disappointing season.

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