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Everton boss eyes West Ham midfielder as a Barry backup

| 03.05.2014

Much like David Moyes, Roberto Martinez has achieved impressive results at Everton despite having little financial power to call on in the transfer market.

The Spaniard’s shrewdness in bringing in quality loan players has gone a long way to the Toffees making a sustained push for Champions League football this season, a goal they are now 22/1 to achieve.

Martinez will face a test to replicate his current Premier League standing next season, though, should permanent deals for the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry and Gerard Deulofeu not materialise and, as such, the manager is making midfield provisions.

West Ham’s Mohamed Diame has made no secret of his desire to play for a top-six club next season and his former working relationship with the Toffees boss could all add up to a switch to Goodison Park.

Should Martinez not be able to keep Barry, who has enjoyed an impressive, return-to-form campaign with Everton, then the Senegalese midfielder could be the perfect contingency plan at a cheap price.

Diame, who has been the subject of rumours linking him to a move to Merseyside rivals Liverpool this season, has a £3.5m release clause written into his Hammers contract, a figure that even the usually cash-strapped Toffees can afford with ease.

Having worked with Diame at Wigan, Martinez will know all about the talents the 26-year-old French-born battler can provide and that’s something that has appealed to the Spaniard in his Everton dealings already.

James McCarthy, Arouna Kone, Joel Robles and Antolin Alcaraz all made the switch to the blue half of Merseyside having worked with Martinez at Wigan and Diame could join the growing list of players to link back up with his former boss.

All Martinez must do now, is choose who, between Barry and the West Ham brute, he wants marshalling his midfield next season.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.