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Investment will take Everton to next level, says Martinez

Football Soccer - AFC Bournemouth v Everton - FA Cup Fifth Round - Vitality Stadium - 20/2/16 Everton manager Roberto Martinez Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs Livepic
Football Soccer - AFC Bournemouth v Everton - FA Cup Fifth Round - Vitality Stadium - 20/2/16Everton manager Roberto MartinezAction Images via Reuters / Matthew ChildsLivepic

(Reuters) - The investment Everton have secured from British-Iranian billionaire and former Arsenal shareholder Farhad Moshiri will enable the club to challenge for a Champions League berth on a regular basis, manager Roberto Martinez said on Monday.

Moshiri has bought a 49.9 percent stake in Everton subject to Premier League approval, ending the club's decade-long search for investment, and Martinez hopes the feel-good factor will improve results on the pitch over the final third of the season.

"We have to look to the Champions League and we have to become a winning team," the Spaniard told reporters before Tuesday's visit to bottom side Aston Villa.

"That's a broad statement and difficult to achieve but this investment will take us into a different level in terms of being able to get there.

"This is the start of a new era. He (Moshiri) will take us to the next level. He is the perfect person to come in."

Everton are 12th in the league table and through to the FA Cup quarter-finals where they face Chelsea on March 12.

"We have 36 points to fight for and we know we can achieve our aim," he said.

"We are still involved with the FA Cup and a home draw will give us an opportunity to progress. So it is an exciting final third of the season."

The manager will be without midfielders Muhamed Besic and Darron Gibson for the trip to Villa, although forward Arouna Kone is available after recovering from illness.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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