Roberto Martinez has issued a hands-off warning to Chelsea as the Premier League champions pursue Everton defender John Stones.
It is reported that Chelsea made a bid for the 21-year-old England centre-half on Thursday that Everton swiftly rejected.
And Martinez wants the matter to end there, declaring: “He is an Everton player. Full stop.”
Speaking after Saturday’s 3-1 Asia Trophy final loss to Arsenal, the Spanish manager said: “First of all, we pride ourselves in playing a certain way and educating our young players in a manner that means they are always going to get attention from elsewhere.
“That is a compliment, a footballing compliment.
“The other side is the disappointment in seeing a football club making it [the bid for Stones] so open. I don’t think that is the way we do it at Everton.
“We don’t speak about a player when he is registered at another club and there is no issue from our point of view – John Stones is an Everton player full stop.
“We are not a selling club in that respect.”
Stones, who moved to Goodison Park from Barnsley in January 2013, has won four England caps.