Roberto Martinez has reiterated Everton have no intention of cashing in on exciting duo John Stones and Romelu Lukaku in the January transfer window.
The Merseyside club fought hard to keep hold of England defender Stones in August – rejecting a transfer request from the 21-year-old and rebuffing interest from Chelsea – and have been rewarded for their strong stance as the youngster continues to flourish in the Premier League.
Speculation is rife that Chelsea will renew their interest next month, but Martinez has no intention of selling Stones or bustling striker Lukaku, who has scored 12 goals in 16 league games this term.
The Everton boss said: “I understand it is part of the transfer period and I’m sure it’s going to be becoming a fresh topic over the next few weeks.
“Our position is quite clear and quite strong, we are not going to lose any of the top performers that we have this season.
“If any opportunities appear [for Everton to strengthen], we’ll be ready to take them, but the squad that we have is strong in numbers, is strong in quality, and now is making sure we keep that group together rather than looking for solutions in January.
“January is always an opportunity to see if there is any opportunity of bringing in a player that could help the group that we have, but there is not a real need of it – it’s just using the window in our favour.
“In January, it’s not the right time to bring players that could help you in a major way, it’s [about] different tweaks and gaps you can cover.”
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