Martinez targets Braga defender Echiejile to replace Baines

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has stepped up his search for a new left-back in anticipation for Leighton Baines’ proposed transfer to Man United, and is thought to have identified FC Braga defender Elderson Echiejile as a top candidate, reports The Mirror.

Echiejile, 25, is a Nigerian international and could cost to Toffees only £1.5m. Despite a £4m release clause in his contract, he has less than 12 months to run until his present deal expires, and as a result Braga accept that they are likely to have to sell now if they want to see hard cash for a man with 33 caps to his name.

Echiejile began his career at Bendel Insurance FC, making his debut in 2004. He spent three years at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium before moving to Rennes in 2007, but was unable to establish himself in France and moved to Braga three years later, having made only 19 appearances for Les Rouges et Noirs. He did, however, make his international debut during his stint in France.

He has made 64 appearances for Braga following his arrival in 2010, but with an opportunity to have a crack at the Premier League with an established team such as Everton it appears his days in Portugal could be winding down.

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