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Toffees hope to seal deal for Monaco hitman Traore

EVERTON could be on the verge of completing their second signing of the transfer window as they await the result of a work permit application for Monaco striker Lacina Traore.

A deal has been agreed to sign the Ivory Coast international on loan from the French club, whom he joined from Anzhi Makhachkala earlier in the month.

A decision on whether the necessary paperwork has been granted was expected by the end of yesterday.

Manager Roberto Martinez publicly confirmed their interest following Monday's 1-1 draw at West Brom, saying: "Lacina is a player who I really like and is someone who would fit in really well in the role we want the player to come in.

"He is a very talented footballer. He is only 23 and has already had a couple of moves (totalling) nearly £30million, but every work permit is a difficult one and we will try our best."

The 6ft 8ins striker is being brought in to replace Nikica Jelavic, who was sold to Hull last week, and will provide support for fellow on-loan forward Romelu Lukaku, who is currently Martinez's first choice.

Lukaku provided the knock-down for Kevin Mirallas to score the opening goal in the 1-1 draw at The Hawthorns, only for Uruguay international Diego Lugano to register his first goal in English football to secure a point.

REALISTIC

"We lost two points, you have to be realistic," said Lukaku.

"In the first half we dominated, but we didn't control the game as we should have done and we have to learn from it in the next few games."

On his return to The Hawthorns, where he spent last season on loan scoring 17 goals, Lukaku said: "I had a great time at West Brom and I hope they enjoyed my football and I left some good memories at the club."

Injuries are continuing to affect the squad and, with midfielder Steven Pienaar absent with a groin issue against West Brom, Martinez lost full-back Seamus Coleman to a hamstring problem.

On the up side, Martinez hopes to have Gerard Deulofeu back from a hamstring injury soon.


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