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Martinez: Alcaraz and Distin could have Everton future

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Defenders have chance to earn themselves a new deal in the coming weeks.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Roberto Martinez insists that there is no guarantee Antolin Alcaraz and Sylvain Distin will leave the club when their contracts expire at the end of the season.

37-year-old Distin hasn't played for Everton since the FA Cup third round draw with West Ham at the start of January and was linked with a deadline day move to the Hammers only for the move to fall through.

The French defender also reportedly had a bust-up with Martinez at the start of the season and was ordered to temporarily stay away from the training ground, casting his Everton future further into doubt.

When he has made it onto the pitch it appears age is finally catching up with him and despite six years of fine service in a blue shirt, this summer looks to be the right time for the former Man City and Newcastle man to move on.

Alcaraz meanwhile hasn't been seen since his nightmarish display in Everton's humiliating 5-2 thrashing by Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League last month.

The Paraguayan has simply found making it onto the pitch a problem since joining from Wigan in 2013, suffering a succession of niggling injuries that have limited him to just 21 appearances in two years.

Even when he has played the 32-year-old has looked a liability, with things reaching a nadir in the Ukraine a few weeks ago. Few Evertonians would shed a tear if he was released at the end of the campaign.

However...

Roberto has hinted that some impressive performances between now and the end of the season may be enough for the duo to extend their stay at Goodison.

The manager said:

"The next six games could have a massive bearing on that. Ninety minutes is a big opportunity to change people's views.

"All individuals will be judged over that period. In football it does not matter if you have a contract or not, you always need to improve and show the right attitude and show you are ready to be part of the future of the club.

"But when you get players at the end of their contract there are decisions to be made and it is not just the club, it is the player as well."

These quotes worry me, as surely a player's performances over the season should have greater impact than catching they eye in a few end-of-season matches that matter little?

I'm hoping Martinez is simply seeking to keep his players motivated until the end of the campaign which, in fairness, he is more than likely doing.

Distin and Alcaraz may come into the reckoning in one or more of those final games, but their association with Everton should not extend beyond May.

And I suspect, even with the comments, Martinez feels the same way.