Everton do not fear losing Romelu Lukaku and can compete financially with any club in world football, according to manager Roberto Martinez.
Lukaku fuelled talk of a move away from Goodison Park last week when he expressed a desire to play Champions League football next season, following comments from the Belgium striker’s father linking him with Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
However, Martinez insists record signing Lukaku, who has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season, can achieve his ambitions on Merseyside.
“It [Lukaku’s comments] is not unsettling at all because that should be the aspiration of everyone, wanting to be as good as you can and trying to aspire to reach the best competitions,” Martinez said.
“At Everton we’ve got that aspiration. We want to be in the Champions League, I’ve said it openly for a long time.
“We want to be competing to win titles. We’ve just been in the semi-finals of the League Cup and marginally we got knocked out against the eventual winners [Manchester City].
“Now we are in another semi-final of the FA Cup. We want to be in those sorts of situations. We want to create a real good positive momentum and the players need to be part of that.
“But clearly we’re relying on the performances of the players. We need ambitious players and we need players who can carry the expectations of our football club.”
Recent investment from former Arsenal shareholder Farhad Moshiri places Everton on a stronger financial footing and Martinez says the club do not need to sell.
“We shouldn’t be afraid about losing players because we are in a position where financially we can compete against anyone in world football at this present time,” he added. “Things have changed radically in that respect.
“It’s not about talking about an issue, it’s the example of the last six windows that we’ve had. All we’re doing is, from window to window, becoming stronger and making a more talented squad, putting together a group of players that can take us to where we want to get. And that’s what we’re going to carry on doing.
“But at the moment it’s the wrong time and pointless to talk about individual situations.”
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