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Martinez helping Everton and Barcelona strengthening ties

Everton and Barcelona are strengthening their ties courtesy of manager Roberto Martinez.

The success of Gerard Deulofeu's loan last season at Everton only confirmed the positive impression Martinez's methods have made at Barca.

A sure sign of Barca's growing interest in developing a close partnership was sports director Andoni Zubizarreta's low-key visit to Everton in February, where he ran his eye over Finch Farm and held strategy talks with Blues officials.

Martinez is expected to sound out Barca about taking more of their better young players on-loan in the new season, with Sergi Roberto high on his agenda.

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Tribal Football Staff

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