Everton manager Roberto Martinez says there is no chance of Kevin Mirallas leaving the club in January, despite a frustrating season so far.
The 28-year-old attacker has been linked with a Goodison Park exit after starting only one Premier League game to date in 2015-16, with suggestions the Belgium international is unsettled and wants more regular action to boost his chances of playing at Euro 2016.
Martinez, though, has rejected reports of a rift with Mirallas and expects him to thrive in the latter stages of the season after injuries and a suspension slowed down his start to the campaign.
“It couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Martinez when asked about claims Mirallas was unhappy. “Kevin has been a very important player while I have been at the football club.
“The start of the season has been challenging for him individually as he has had a couple of injuries. Then he had the sending off [against Swansea City], so he wasn’t available for three games.
“The way he has been working in training has been very impressive. He has improved as a footballer and it is important for us that Kevin is fresher now going into the second half of the season and we will get the benefit of that.
“Kevin Mirallas is a very important player for Everton – he knows that – and all he wants now is to get important playing time, because the start of the season has been quite frustrating for him.”
Martinez also revealed he had no big plans for signings in the January transfer window, as he prefers to make major squad alterations in the close-season.
He continued: “We have got such a strong squad – the focus for us is to see how good we can be with the squad we have now.
“We have enough time in the summer to see if we can bring players into the football club. All we want is to be as good as we can with the players we have, that I’m delighted with.
“It will be very important for us to make sure the window that is going to open in the winter is to just give a bit more normality, to make sure the squad gets reaffirmed, looking at the younger groups more than the first-team level to make sure that we get a clear 10-month competition out of this squad.
“It will be the summer when we reassess where we are and where we should go. I wouldn’t look at the winter as a moment to make significant changes.”