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 Posted by Mike Whalley
Aug 7, 2014

Martinez: No Christian Atsu progress

Christian Atsu played for Ghana at the 2014 World Cup.

LIVERPOOL -- Everton manager Roberto Martinez has indicated that there is no guarantee of any further summer signings as hopes fade regarding a loan deal for Chelsea winger Christian Atsu.

- Stones signs new five-year deal

Martinez has been looking to bring the Ghana international to Goodison Park or the season, and recently hinted that a deal might be imminent.

The Toffees boss was hoping to make his second summer signing from Chelsea, having brought in striker Romelu Lukaku for a club-record fee of 28 million pounds on July 30.

He may have to look elsewhere for a winger, though, as the chances of a quick deal for Atsu appear to be slim.

Asked if there had been any progress in attempts to sign the 22-year-old, Martinez said: "No. There's nothing to comment on."

Martinez gave a similar response when asked if he had any news on a possible deal to bring Ivory Coast striker Lacina Traore back from Monaco for a second loan spell, saying: "At the moment, there's nothing we can comment on there either."

PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEWS

As we count down to kickoff on Aug. 16, ESPN FC previews all 20 teams in this season's competition. Can Burnley, QPR and Leicester stay up? Will the new signings of Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and Adam Lallana help usurp Man City's crown? Will Manchester United get back on track under Louis van Gaal?

Instead, the Everton manager insists he is focusing on working with the players he has ahead of their opening Premier League match, away to newly promoted Leicester City on Aug. 16.

And he believes that he has a strong enough squad to be competitive this coming season, with the permanent signings of former loanees Lukaku and Gareth Barry, and the progress of midfielder Darron Gibson, left-back Bryan Oviedo and striker Arouna Kone in returning from long-term injuries.

Martinez said: "At the moment, it's more about looking in-house and looking to see how good we can be with the players that we have.

"We had three long-term injuries last season. That was a real shame, as they missed a lot of football.

"Now Darron Gibson is back fully fit, having had a really good second half of preseason; Arouna Kone is slowly getting into a position where we're going to see him on a football pitch sooner rather than later, which is very positive; and then there's Bryan Oviedo too.

"It's important to see how quickly those players can get back on to the pitch before we make final decisions about the window, but I would say that I'm very pleased with the squad. It's time to focus on the squad and the players we have at Everton.

"The window allows you to bring more players in, but that's going to be measured depending on how every day goes in this period."

Before they visit Leicester, Everton have one final preseason friendly, away to recently promoted Bundesliga club SC Paderborn on Saturday.

Asked if he was heading into the new season feeling frustrated at the difficulties he was facing over Atsu, Martinez said: "Not at all. Not after signing Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry. We're very, very pleased with the additions we've made and the continuity that we've got.

"Now it's a case of making sure that we prepare for the weekend. We've got the final preseason friendly, which is away from here, and is a perfect run-out in terms of what we're going to get in the Europa League, and then it's a week to the start of the season.

"The window is a period that we want to use to our advantage, and we'll keep working hard and make sure the squad is as strong as it can be when it closes.

"We are excited. We need to get match-fit. We need to get better in order to achieve what we want to this season."

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