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Heitinga exit could spark further Everton deals

After snubbing three clubs already this window Jonny Heitinga could finally be on his way - and give Roberto Martinez some leeway in the transfer market.

Ian Walton

West Ham were the first team to make a move for the Dutchman but he turned down the chance to join their 19th century relegation battle.

Galatasaray and a team from Italy, rumoured to be Roma, were also in discussions over a move, but again those talks broke down.

Heitinga is keen for first-team football in order to boost his World Cup chances, but he doesn't want that to be at the expense of the generous wages he earns at Goodison.

Roberto Martinez confirmed on Thursday that any deadline day signings for Everton were dependant on Heitinga being removed from the wage bill.

That left many Everton fans bemused given the funds brought in for Marouane Fellaini last summer and Nikica Jelavic earlier this month.

However, it is believed that Martinez has cash to spend should he want it, but would rather hold onto it until the summer, especially after he received a positive diagnosis of Romelu Lukaku's ankle injury.

He could yet make a late foray into the transfer market, with several media outlets reporting that Heitinga was set to travel down to Fulham to discuss a move.

The Cottagers are desperate to strengthen their side in order to avoid relegation so may well be willing to pay Heitinga what he wants.

Everton are unlikely to receive a significant fee given the defender's contract expires in six months, but the cash saved in wages could be put to good use.

Martinez would pursue a defensive midfielder (probably on loan!) with the Heitinga cash as a replacement for the stricken Darron Gibson.

There is also the possibility of bringing in a striker given Lacina Traore is not yet match fit, Arouna Kone is out for the season and we won't  see Lukaku again until the end of next month.

What do you think of Heitinga's expected exit? Who should Everton bring in? Have your say at our deadline day open thread.