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Martinez says Stones unaffected by Chelsea bids

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is keen to consign the John Stones transfer saga to history and insists the impending visit of Chelsea has no extra significance.

Last month the Stamford Bridge side made three unsuccessful bids, the last upwards of £30million, which prompted the England defender to hand in a transfer request.

However, Everton stood firm and held on to the 21-year-old, and Martinez expects the youngster to approach Saturday's Barclays Premier League match with the same professionalism he has always shown.

Asked whether his relationship with Jose Mourinho was affected by the summer's dealings, Martinez said: "Nothing changes.

"It is part of the rules. In the transfer window you are allowed to make enquiries and offers for players.

"It gives you a bigger feeling of control when you can decide what to do with those attempts.

"John has gone from strength to strength in a period of high pressure and has used it in the right way, taking the support of everyone at the club and has performed with incredible maturity and composure.

"The way he went away and performed for England in a very natural manner shows the calibre of player we have."

Everton's John Stones Credit: Tim Goode/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Reports have suggested Stones, who has four years remaining on his existing deal, wants to negotiate a new contract with a buy-out clause in the region of £37million inserted.

But Martinez gave that speculation short shrift.

"I thought that when the transfer window was over we would be able to concentrate on the games and that is the only thing I am focusing on," added the Catalan, who joked he had been singing the 'Can't Buy Me Stones' song - to the tune of The Beatles' Can't Buy Me Love - in the shower.

"Any story or any backlash still from the transfer window I am not going to entertain.

"Our interest is to look after every player who represents the club, they need understanding and we are going to look after the human being as well as we look after the footballer and in this case we have shown that is what we have done.

"Our best interest is to continue developing John to allow him to be a very important footballer for us.

"We will do that with every single player in the club."

While the return of players from international duty has not brought any additional injury problems, Martinez has been able to put a timescale on the absence of midfielder Tom Cleverley, who injured his ankle at Tottenham at the end of last month.

"The scans revealed it was no fracture and it was only ligament damage and although it will be a long period it is not as bad as feared," said the manager.

"It is hard to tell how long he will be out. With ligament damage you could expect six to eight weeks but knowing how strong and fit Tom is we're looking at six weeks."


Everton reject John Stones transfer request

John Stones. Credit: Press Association Images

Statement from Everton FC:

"Everton Football Club has rejected a transfer request from John Stones. Since the start of the transfer window, we have resolutely turned down offers from another Premier League football club for our player. John is not for sale and he will remain a highly valued member of our first team squad."

Bill Kenwright

Chairman, Everton Football Club

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