London, Dec 16 (IANS)
Everton coach Roberto Martinez on Wednesday ruled out the sale of young defender John Stones to Chelsea during January’s transfer market, reiterating that the football club “will not release anyone”. “It doesn’t matter if Chelsea come back in for him. We created a squad to see how far we could go over 10 months,” Efe quoted the Spanish coach as saying. “January doesn’t come into consideration. We’ll never lose anyone in January — unless it’s somebody who hasn’t been playing and we need to find a solution. If he’s a top performer, it’s not even a consideration,”
Martinez explained. The British press reported in recent days that Chelsea, immersed in the worst start of the English Premier League in the last 37 years, would be willing to pay about 55 million euros ($60 million) for the 21-year-old defender, who has appeared for England in seven matches. “When you are right in the middle of a season, I think players understand that you can’t sell someone if you can’t replace him,” the Spanish boss reiterated. “I think the uncertainty comes in the summer, where everyone speaks about possibilities,” he noted. “January is a window to solve problems with players who are not featuring as often as they feel they should, or to bring in players from a lower league to give them an opportunity,” Martinez added. Last summer, Everton rejected several offers worth $30 million, $39 million and $45 million to sell Stones, who even presented a transfer request to leave the team.