Everton have confirmed they have been granted a work permit for Monaco striker Lacina Traore.
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The Premier League club have been in talks to sign Ivory Coast international Traore on loan until the end of the season.
A deal has still to be completed, although manager Roberto Martinez said on Monday that he felt it was close.
A statement on Everton’s official website read: “Everton confirm it has been granted a work permit for Lacina Traore.
“Talks are ongoing with Monaco to secure the 23-year-old’s services.”
West Ham applied successfully for a work permit for Traore last week as they attempted to sign the striker.
But Hammers manager Sam Allardyce said last weekend that his hopes of bringing in Traore had been frustrated by Everton’s offer.
Traore has been made available for loan by Monaco, even though they only signed him on Jan 4. from Russian Premier League club Anzhi Makhachkala on a four-and-a-half-year contract.
Monaco boss Claudio Ranieri sees him as a long-term signing, with Radamel Falcao the club’s first-choice striker for now.