Everton latest: Former Barcelona star eyed as Martinez praises Moyes

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Everton boss Roberto Martinez has received plenty of praise this season for his job on Merseyside, but he wouldn't be in this position had David Moyes not left Goodison Park for Manchester United last summer. It hasn't gone well for the Scot, who was sacked by the Red Devils on Tuesday, but Martinez has moved to praise Moyes, saying that he is sure he will be back in work soon.

“It is not a nice situation when a manager loses his job, especially someone who has such strong links with our club,” said the Spaniard. “It has been a difficult experience but any experience is a good experience in this game unfortunately. We know David Moyes will look forward to the next footballing chapter. We all know he is a very successful man and has a real strong winning mentality and he will get ready to bounce back straight away.

“It is very difficult to get that experience, the amount of years he has been working at the highest level, and the know-how he has is a real strength. I am sure he will be ready to get into another job as quick as he can and I am sure he won’t have a lack of offers or opportunities when you have someone who is so hard-working, focused and dedicated in his job. We all know he is going to be very successful in the future. We wish him the best of luck and he will always be well thought of and we will always be thankful of the job he did at our football club," concluded the former Wigan boss.

Martinez now has to plan for a huge end to the season, with his Everton side chasing Arsenal in fourth place as the Toffees bid to get into the Champions League places for next season's competition. But their cause could be damaged by the injury sustained to defender Sylvain Distin. The Frenchman was substituted at half time against Manchester United on Sunday, and with a hamstring injury the problem, he may miss the rest of the season - a huge blow with Phil Jagielka already sidelined.

Meanwhile, the Toffees will be looking to strengthen their side in the summer, and a replacement for Gareth Barry will be key to their activity. The Manchester City loanee will return to the Etihad Stadium after his loan deal expires, and Martinez has been linked with a shock swoop for former Barcelona star Seydou Keita. The Malian, 34, is currently with Valencia in Spain, but with his deal expiring at the end of the season, Everton could swoop for him on a free transfer.

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