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Roberto Martinez refuses to rule out new signings in January

...but a replacement for Samuel Eto'o isn't one of them

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Everton manager Roberto Martinez says he will not be signing a replacement for Samuel Eto'o, but did suggest he is still looking to add to the squad before the transfer deadline.

Martinez says the return to fitness of Arouna Kone and the continued fine form of Steven Naismith means he will not look to add to his forward line this month.

The Spaniard was also keen to down play any talk of major signings before Monday's deadline, again re-iterating his preference to sign players in the summer window - something he did so successfully last year.

However, with Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar continuing to struggle with injury, Martinez hinted that midfield reinforcements could arrive if the right deal was available.

Any new arrivals are likely to be loan deals with funds once again tight, but Eto'o's departure at least frees up some of the wage bill.

Martinez said:

"With Arouna Kone being fully fit, I see him as a replacement for Samuel’s position and it is more about trying to get the players back from injury.

"Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman have been two players missing throughout the season which has been disappointing because they are important in the way we want to play.

"Leon played in every single game last season and we miss what he brings. So I am looking around that.

"January is not the place to find solutions. Our moment of form, we want to change, but the solutions are in the squad.

"There are players coming back from injury to create the competition in the squad and I don’t feel it is the window to bring solutions for us.

"But saying that, we are trying to work as hard as we can."