Roberto Martinez
Everton's manager Roberto Martinez reacts ahead of their English Premier League soccer match against Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, northern England, April 6, 2014. Reuters

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has praised loanee Gerard Deulofeu, claiming the youngster will become one of the best players in the world.

In an interview with Spanish radio station Onda Cero's 'Al Primer Toque', Martinez was asked whether he felt proud when Deulofeu said, in an exclusive interview to IBTimes UK, that he would love to play under him at Barcelona.

Martinez said: "It's nice to hear good thinks like that.

"What is clear is that Gerard, at his early age, has come to a completely different culture and has provided a shining example of adaptation, and he has brought us an outstanding talent.

"It's always good to see that players who risk a lot can enjoy their time at another club and grow as players.

"[Regarding Barca] Gerard is ready for any challenge. Everyone who has seen him knows he has natural talent and the ability to unbalance [the rival]. I am convinced he will be a world star."

The Toffees would be sitting in fourth position had they not lost to Crystal Palace last Wednesday – however, they are still only one point behind fourth-placed Arsenal with just three matches left.

Martinez said Everton's season has been good but is looking forward to finishing as well as possible, adding: "We have to find a way to be in the Premier League top-four without money.

"It had always been considered that if you didn't have the best players, it would be impossible to succeed – I was really interested in changing that."

Asked about former Everton boss David Moyes, he said: "Everyone knew that to be Sir Alex Ferguson's successor was going to be very tough, after working 26 years in the same way. It has been a great mix of events.

"It was important not to lose players though, but not being able to bring more was difficult. The signings of Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata were not enough to refresh the team.

"United is one of the most powerful teams in the world and not to qualify for the Champions League and sitting seven in the league table brings huge repercussions. Unfortunately, it is football's nature – something that was not expected in British football.

Also, Martinez did not rule out the possibility of joining Barcelona in the future as he said: "The job of the coach is to seek the best for the group. Personally, I have never had two seconds to think about what is the next step that I'd like to make. It is nice to receive affection though."

The Spaniard coach is thought to be on a list of potential contenders to replace Tata Martino at the Camp Nou.