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Martinez hoping he can convince Mirallas to stay put

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Kevin Mirallas has revealed that he will not open contract talks with Everton until the summer. Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Kevin Mirallas has revealed that he will not open contract talks with Everton until the summer. Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Getty Images

Kevin Mirallas has revealed that he will not open contract talks with Everton until the summer. Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Roberto Martinez concedes that he must prove to Kevin Mirallas that Everton's ambition and potential match the Belgian's if he is to succeed in summer contract talks designed to keep him at Goodison Park long term.

Mirallas, who is in line to start his first game since New Year's Day when Everton host West Brom tonight, revealed this week that he will not open contract talks until the summer, news that has reportedly generated interest from Borussia Dortmund, among other clubs.

With 18 months remaining on his deal, that is not alarming news for Martinez yet, but the manager is conscious that he needs to convince Mirallas that this season's dramatic drop-off in league form is an aberration.

Normal

"It is not as if his contract is up at the end of the season," said Martinez.

"But I think it is only normal to see where we are as a football club before he signs a new contract or decides what he wants to do. I don't see him not doing anything now as a sign of anything.

"The contract talks are not a concern at all. It is a long, long contract from our point of view.

"The long-term ambition is to get into the Champions League and we will carry on working towards that."

Mirallas has been particularly impressive in Everton's last two performances, a league draw with Manchester City and a shoot-out FA Cup exit at West Ham.

In both games, Martinez is adamant that his side had been on the receiving end of multiple bad refereeing decisions, a belief that has led him to contact Mike Riley, chief of the Referees' Association.

"I spoke with Mike following West Ham and Man City," said Martinez. "They accept there's been an honest error made, but there have been too many now.

"It's difficult. I always feel the referees are part of the game and the error of the referee makes the game what it is. I'm a bit romantic on that and I still believe over the course of the season, they are going to level up."

Mirallas is not the only Everton player Tottenham have been looking at, as Spurs are also watching central midfielder James McCarthy's contract situation with a view to a possible summer bid.

Everton have been promising McCarthy an improved deal since the summer, but the former Wigan star is yet to sign new terms which has alerted Spurs and Arsenal.

Like Mirallas, McCarthy is one of a number of players Tottenham are considering in his position. They are concerned that their top target Morgan Schneiderlin will join Arsenal and face competition from Liverpool for Fabian Delph.

Spurs are just as likely to see outgoings as any major incomings during this transfer window, with Kyle Naughton, Aaron Lennon and Mousa Dembele all available.

Tonight, Martinez may recall Tony Hibbert and McCarthy as they return from injury.

Everton v West Brom, live, Sky Sports 1, 8.00pm

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