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With pre-season now underway, Everton are likely to ramp up their recruitment ahead of the new season. Manager Roberto Martinez has revealed that a number of players will be arriving at Goodison Park, despite being impressed with the crop of youngsters coming through for the Toffees.
"The main priority was to have continuity in what we did last season," the Spaniard told Talksport. "We have had a few players signing extensions and we got Gareth Barry becoming a permanent signing, which was huge for us. In the next couple of days we will have a few players coming in because it was important for me to assess the youngsters."
"The youngsters have done terrific and are showing the good work we are doing in the academy at Finch Farm, but there are areas that need to be strengthened and over the next few days we are going to get the three, four players we need just to finalise the squad facing the huge demands with European football ahead of us."
One of the players who looks set to arrive is midfielder Muhamed Besic. The 21-year-old starred for Bosnia and Herzegovina at this summer's World Cup in Brazil, and clearly Martinez was suitably enamoured with his displays. The youngster will complete a move from Hungarian side Ferencvaros in the coming days, and Martinez announced that Besic will join the club on their tour of Thailand.
"The next few days will allow Mo to meet the players," said Martinez. "But more importantly it is an opportunity for him to get into optimum condition ahead of the new season. I am looking forward to introducing him to the Everton fans when we come back but first I would like to thank Ferencvaros for the way in which they have approached the negotiations. They have been very understanding at this point and we have enjoyed a good working relationship.”
Whilst Besic would become Everton's second new addition in midfield after the return of Gareth Barry, Martinez may look to bring another central player into his squad this summer. Nigerian international Ogenyi Onazi has long been linked with a move to Merseyside, and speculation today suggest that Everton are fighting with Premier League rivals Liverpool and Southampton for the Lazio man's signature.