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 By Mike Whalley

Martinez wants Lacina Traore return

Lacina Traore joined Everton on loan for the second half of last season.

Roberto Martinez says he is chasing a deal to bring Lacina Traore back to Everton, but has played down hopes of signing Romelu Lukaku again.

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Traore had an injury-hit spell at Goodison Park during his temporary stay over the second half of last season, while Lukaku enjoyed a successful campaign on loan from Chelsea.

Traore managed only one start for the Toffees after arriving on Merseyside from Monaco, scoring in a 3-1 FA Cup fifth-round victory over Swansea on Feb. 16.

His season was then ended by a hamstring injury sustained in the warm-up before Everton's Premier League match at Chelsea six days later, but Martinez has pushed for a deal to sign him again.

The striker did make a comeback by playing for 63 minutes of a friendly for Ivory Coast as they lost 2-1 to Bosnia-Herzegovina on May 31.

Elephants coach Sabri Lamouchi, though, decided to leave him out of his final 23-man squad for the World Cup in Brazil.

"At the moment we are still talking with Monaco," Martinez told Everton's official website.

"With Lacina, it is a three-way conversation and it will go a bit further down the line before we take a final decision.

"But we always wanted Lacina to be with us and to play his football with us, and that hasn't changed at all."

Lukaku, who scored 16 goals for Everton last season, has been linked with Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Tottenham and Wolfsburg this summer.

Martinez would like to bring the 21-year-old back to Goodison Park, but has acknowledged that will be difficult.

"We need to find out where we are and there is nothing more to comment," he said.

"Every time we spoke about Rom's situation it was very clear that he wanted to go to the World Cup and then make a decision. Obviously it is not going to take too long from now on.

"It's one of those situations where I would rather look back and keep those standards and memories."

Martinez, meanwhile, says left-back Bryan Oviedo should be ready to return to action in September.

The Costa Rica international missed the World Cup after breaking his leg during Everton's 4-0 FA Cup fourth-round win at Stevenage on Jan. 25.

Midfielder Darron Gibson and striker Arouna Kone, both out of action since suffering long-term knee injuries last October, are also nearing comebacks.

Martinez said: "Darron Gibson is in a very strong way and is ready to join the group straight away.

"Bryan will need a bit more individual work before he gets fully fit and probably the end of September is when we expect him to be ready.

"Arouna Kone needs a little bit more one-to-one work for a couple of weeks, then he will be able to join the group."

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