Everton manager Roberto Martinez faces a big battle to hold onto his young stars Romelu Lukaku and John Stones, but neither have been guaranteed an exit should the Merseyside club fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Everton are 11th in the Premier League, nine points off the top four following two matches without a win.
Martinez refuted claims he had promised the duo – or any Everton player – they would be allowed to leave the club should they miss out on the Champions League amid reported interest from Manchester United and Chelsea.
“That is not true, I would never do that,” said the Spaniard.
“I think that would be very negative. If you do that could you imagine the last two months for that player? He would never put a leg in or never challenge for the ball.
“I don’t agree with doing that.
“I know you can do that to keep a player for another 12 months but if you’re not going to have a player 12 months down the line you need to start replacing him to have a stronger team.”
Regardless of what the future may hold for the likes of Lukaku and Stones, Martinez has already started strengthening for next season with the £3million acquisition of Shani Tarashaj.
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