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Monday 11 December 2017

Martinez hails deal for 'gifted' star Besic

Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez

Everton have completed the signing of Ferencvaros midfielder Muhamed Besic after the Bosnia and Herzegovina international finalised a five-year contract.

The 21-year-old travelled to Thailand with the Toffees for their pre-season match against Leicester at the weekend after an agreement was reached with the Hungarian side.

Besic officially completed his move after the finer details of the paperwork were concluded.

"Muhamed is a young footballer who has developed massively in the last two seasons," manager Roberto Martinez said.

"He has been playing as a centre-half and as a defensive midfielder at an incredible level.

"With Bosnia and Herzegovina in the World Cup he showed that he is a really mature footballer, that he covers the ground really well, that he is very dynamic and technically very gifted.

"He is bringing us really good strength in an important part of the side."

Besic, who became his country's youngest senior international with a debut aged 18, played three times at the World Cup, with one of those appearances coming against eventual finalists Argentina.

Born in Germany, he began his professional career at Hamburg before transferring to Ferencvaros in two years ago.

Meanwhile, Martinez (above) has played down reports Romelu Lukaku is set to sign for the club but did admit to priortising a new striker.

Martinez is eager to be reunited with Lukaku on a permanent basis, while Everton's head of recruitment Ian Atkins believes the striker has decided he wants move to Goodison Park this summer.

"There have been a lot of reports, some even saying I've told people it (a deal for Lukaku) is done, but the situation is very clear," Martinez said.

"We need a number nine going into the start of the season and we will make sure we sign one.

"Rom created incredible memories we'll never forget and enjoyed his time at Everton - but that doesn't mean anything between now and the end of the window.

"Everything is in the air and you can imagine there are options on the table. We will carry on working hard to assemble the strongest squad possible."

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