Martinez relaxed over Barkley and Stones interest

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has insisted that the club will never be under pressure to sell midfielder Ross Barkley and defender John Stones despite interest in the England international duo, reports the Daily Star.

Barkley has emerged as a key player for both club and country since the beginning of last season, when he was given his first proper run in the Everton first team by Martinez. Despite occasional injury problems, he has thrived and become one of English football’s most highly regarded players, scoring seven goals in 40 games since the Spaniard took over from David Moyes.

As a result of his form, there has been plenty of reported interest, with Manchester United and Merseyside rivals Liverpool having been linked with a move for the 20-year-old. Teammate Stones has also reportedly been targeted by other clubs, but Martinez is adamant that they will not be sold.

“I’m not going to just be worried about other teams’ interest because there will be interest, there’s no two ways about it,’ he said. ‘These two players are as good as it gets in terms of that age group, if not European football.

“We are a club which does not have to sell. We have gone past that period and the football club is in a fantastic moment financially. Everything will be football decisions.

“That gives me a real peace of mind and tranquility to make sure the players at the club keep progressing, keep getting better and stronger. And that is a good position to be in. It doesn’t worry me at all. As a football club, we don’t need to sell and that makes every decision a football one for the good of the club. So I’m very relaxed about it.’

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