Monday, July 24, 2017

Everton big enough to keep Stones – Martinez

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 Aug 2015

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists Chelsea target John Stones is going nowhere as the Premier League champions’ interest in the defender continues.

Reports suggest Chelsea have put in two offers in excess of £20million to sign the 21-year-old England international.

But Martinez is desperate to keep the defender and said Everton were a big enough club to hold onto the former Barnsley man.

“We are a big club. What we want is to build and what we want to do is concentrate on the future and we are not a selling club by all means,” he said.

“I don’t see anything apart from I love the players I have in the squad and I understand others keep an eye on it and that is a healthy sign.

“The current situation with John is as you would expect. He is one of the most talented centre-backs in European football, not just in England, and we really, really feel we have a special footballer with us.

“We have a group of young players with the potential to be as good as they can and I think he is one of those.

“Clearly he is a player that we admire, clearly that is going to be the same in other clubs. They are going to be admiring his ability and what he is as a footballer but he is an Everton player and as you can imagine he is a big part of what we are trying to achieve in the future.”

Stones played 72 minutes in Everton’s 2-1 friendly loss to Villarreal on Sunday, in a game that was Duncan Ferguson’s testimonial.

With Stones contracted until mid-2019, Martinez said Chelsea’s bids meant nothing.

“He is not a player that is out of contract in 10 months, he is not a player we don’t want, he is a player that has a fantastic future with us and there is nothing to comment because teams putting bids in doesn’t mean anything,” he said.

“He is in a very good moment of his career, he has four years left. Every experience is a good experience in order to mature.

“On the outside it seems turmoil and many things happening but internally John comes in and trains and needs to try earn his place and keep improving, keep taking responsibility in the group and nothing else.”

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