Everton latest: Martinez eyes deal for "the Finnish Xavi", Demba Ba turns down move

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Everton boss Roberto Martinez is building for the new season, but he's having to do so without winger Gerard Deulofeu. The Barcelona youngster spent last season on loan with the Toffees and impressed enough for Martinez to want him back for another season, but the Catalan giants were also delighted with his progress and subsequently recalled him. Now looking ahead to his first full season in the Barcelona first team, Deulofeu says he's thankful for his spell at Goodison Park.

"I learned a lot [at Everton] and I’m looking forward," Deulofeu said. "I really enjoyed it at Everton and I am left with the feeling of having played a few minutes. In England I improved my physical side and on the defensive. I’m glad I spent a year at Everton."

Martinez's planning will involve searching for a new striker after another loanee, Romelu Lukaku, returned to his parent club. The Chelsea striker was almost replaced by another Blues forward though, as Ahmed Bulut - agent of Demba Ba - revealed that the transfer of the Senegalese international was agreed, but he chose to move to Turkey with Besiktas instead.

"There were around five clubs interested in Ba, actually Everton had agreed terms with Ba but we clinched the deal last minute. Ba was intrigued by the prospect of playing in a country with a muslim majority as well as the Besiktas stadium project and the interest shown by the fans. Of course the financial details also played a large part in him making the move."

Finances will no doubt dictate what Everton can do this summer with a limited budget, and having missed out on Ba, Martinez may look to more under-the-radar targets. The latest name to be linked with the Toffees is Finnish international playmaker Roman Eremenko, who plays in Russia for Rubin Kazan. The 27-year-old, labelled as 'the Finnish Xavi', used to play for Udinese and Dynamo Kiev, but Everton face competition for his signature from both CSKA Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg.

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