Sport Premier League

Friday 30 September 2016

Big clubs can't just 'click fingers' and sign players, insists Martinez

Chris Bascombe

Published 29/08/2015 | 02:30

In-demand John Stones of Everton tackles Barnsley’s Josh Scowen during their midweek League Cup clash
In-demand John Stones of Everton tackles Barnsley’s Josh Scowen during their midweek League Cup clash

Everton manager Roberto ­Martinez has accused Champions League clubs of believing they can "click their fingers" and buy whoever they want.

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Having refused successive Chelsea bids for John Stones and rejected the defender's request to leave, ­Martinez says his club have ­withstood financial pressure to end the transfer saga.

The Spanish coach now faces the task of managing the 21-year-old England defender through an emotional period but Martinez is adamant his club had to put football interests above a record-breaking fee for the defender.

"It is no good just to think that because you have a Champions League budget you're going to click your fingers and get anything you want," 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 club, not for the financial aspect.

"As a club we have the player and we can say we are keeping him. For a player to be sold or signed it has to get to a point where two clubs agree. Then a player can make a decision whether to accept the deal or stay.

Agreed

"In this situation the two clubs never agreed so the player is in the background disturbed by the speculation, by information and by people in his life making decisions for him. John and our fans have clarity on what is going to happen and everything should calm down."

Martinez said the fact that Stones has four years left on a five-year-contract he signed last season was fundamental to Everton's decision to deny his transfer request.

"Contracts are not there to protect a player when he is injured," he said.

"If you've got one year left on your contract then the player has a lot of say. If you commit yourself for five years there is some sort of responsibility behind that decision. We are going to end up in a position that contracts are going to mean nothing for players that perform well.

"The contract will only have any standing when the player is having a tough time or they're injured. Maybe they want to change the way everything works and not have contracts? It matters what the player thinks but sometimes you need to do things."

Martinez admits he is concerned by suggestions that a few Everton supporters have abused Stones since he handed in his transfer request. He did receive some flak when he played in the League Cup at Barnsley on Tuesday, but the majority have expressed sympathy for the player.

Martinez is confident there will be no backlash when Stones features away to Tottenham Hotspur today. "When you start seeing stories like that, as a fan, you start to worry and you fear the worst and fear you're going to lose your player," Martinez said.

"It is a very tough time for him and, as a player, you are a little bit mixed-up. 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."

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was non-committal on whether his interest in Stones was over for this transfer window. As far as Everton are concerned, there is no possibility of the situation changing.

"It is not that we are going to be open until Tuesday to see what will happen," Martinez said. "Now is not the right time to lose him. John is vital for what we want to achieve in the same way Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku are vital."

Meanwhile, Uruguayan striker Leandro Rodriguez has completed his move to Everton from River Plate Montevideo for £500,000. The 22-year-old forward signed a four-year deal. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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