Everton manager Roberto Martinez has revealed that the club will reject the transfer request handed in byChelsea target John Stones earlier this week.
Stones has been the subject of several bids from the Blues so far this summer, and looked to bring the saga to a close on Tuesday when he officially asked the Toffees to end their resistance and let him leave.
But speaking after the Merseysiders’ 5-3 victory against Barnsley – Stones’ first club – in the League Cup on Wednesday, the manager insisted once more that the centre-back will not be allowed to leave.
“We have not rejected the transfer request – yet. We will do it in the morning. Sometimes money can’t buy everything,” he told the press.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he added: “I think our fans know that all we’re doing is trying to become better and John is a massive part of that. We’ve got a clear idea that in life and football money cannot sometimes buy everything and John is a massive part of our future.”
When asked whether he is for sale, the former Wigan boss replied: “Absolutely not, no.”
And after hailing the England Under-21 international’s performance in the 2-0 defeat by Manchester City on Sunday, Martinez was again effusive in his praise at Oakwell.
“I thought he was incredible. An enormous celebration about football. He came through the Barnsley ranks and it shows you what a terrific job the academy do here. John was incredible under enormous pressure as you can imagine,” he added.
“Once more I’ll say the authorities need to learn the lesson of what’s going on. We need to protect players in the transfer window. It’s becoming a bit of a circus. He was a real example of how to perform under massive, massive pressure. For me, it was an exceptional display by him.”