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Transfer Rater: Luka Modric to Tottenham

Football Whispers
 By Mike Whalley

Roberto Martinez coy on Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku scored 15 goals in 31 games for Everton while on loan from Chelsea.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists he will sign a centre-forward this summer -- whether it is Romelu Lukaku or not.

- O'Farrell: Besic could shine for Everton

Martinez wants to bring back the Belgium international, who scored 15 goals in 31 Premier League appearances for the club while on loan from Chelsea last season.

The manager has played down suggestions that a deal is certain, although he gave fans hope over the weekend that Lukaku may return to Goodison Park.

In a YouTube video captured for a fans' website during the club's preseason trip to Thailand -- where they lost 1-0 to Leicester in a friendly on Sunday -- the manager responded to a supporter asking if Everton would sign the 21-year-old by saying: "Of course we'll get him."

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- Marcotti: Mind-boggling transfers
- Delaney: What did we learn on deadline day?
- Horncastle: European transfer grades
- Smith: Transfers more important than the game?
- Macintosh: We worship goals, not balance sheets

But Martinez told the Liverpool Echo: "There have been a lot of reports, some even saying I've told people it's done, but the situation is very clear.

"We need a No. 9 going into the start of the season and we will make sure we sign one."

Asked how talks were progressing with Chelsea over a deal for Lukaku, Martinez said: "It would be disrespectful for me to speak too much about someone else's player.

"I don't like to see people talking too much about my players. We must be respectful to their registration of players.

"But I can speak about our relationship with Chelsea which that we were delighted with how his loan went and I think they were delighted with how he was treated and developed.

"He developed a big affection with our fans. It was a success. But from this point onwards it's all speculation.

"You never know when we'll have a conclusion. At his age and with what he's capable of we all know he's someone who will be wanted by many clubs and be a good No. 9.

"We will carry on working hard to assemble the strongest squad as possible. We need to make the right decisions between now and the end of the window."

Everton are expected to confirm the signings of Ferencvaros midfielder Muhamed Besic and Anderlecht's teenage forward David Henen this coming week.

Martinez added: "If Mo Besic comes through we need another two signings as well before the start of the campaign and one must be a striker.

"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'll try to work hard on it.

"We hope things will be wrapped up for Besic soon.

"We have a good relationship with Ferencvaros which has been really open and strong throughout.

"There are certain details that need to be solved and once that's done we'll be OK.

"David is a young man who is someone with a very good future and we want him to be part of our development squad and get into the under-21s."


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