Everton manager Roberto Martinez hit out at Chelsea for trying to ‘click their fingers’ and complete the signing of defender John Stones.
Stones, 21, appears set to stay at Goodison Park despite the Premier League champions’ constant pursuit.
Martinez lauded chairman Bill Kenwright and said it was an indication the world’s cashed-up clubs were unable to always sign who they wanted.
Chelsea were reported to have offered close to £40million for the four-time England international, who had a transfer request rejected.
“As a club we have the player and we can say we are keeping him. We know the pressure that will bring and that is why the chairman deserves incredible credit,” Martinez said.
“Any chairman would look at any financial deal as an opportunity to do things but our chairman has done what any Evertonian would do and made the right decision for the football club, not for the financial aspect.
“Any chairman would put his manager into a big problem if he sold one of the club’s biggest assets at this stage of the window, and that happens. But our chairman has been very clear and very strong.
“In any transfer deal a player can make a decision on whether to accept a deal or stay when two clubs agree. In this situation the two clubs never agreed.
“It is no good thinking that because you have a Champions League budget you’re going to click your fingers and get anything you want because clearly we don’t work like that.”
Martinez, who completed the signing of Uruguayan striker Leandro Rodriguez on Friday, said Stones needed protection.
The Spaniard has previously questioned the transfer window’s timing and said it was unfair on players.
“It is a very tough time for him and, as a player, you are a little bit mixed-up,” Martinez said.
“John is in the middle of that storm but now it is very clear. John needs protection. Our fans will be the first to make him feel safe and make him feel in the right environment.
“We need to support John more than ever. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions and I don’t think it’s fair that any player should have to go through that while having to perform. The football authorities need to look into it seriously.”
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