Manchester United and Liverpool have been hit with a critical blow in the race for England international Ross Barkley, as Roberto Martinez has made it emphatically clear that Everton do not have to sell the player this summer.
According to the Daily Mail, which relays information from the Liverpool Echo, Martinez confirmed that Barkley most definitely had a future at Goodison Park beyond this summer, despite the fact that he’s been linked with an eye-watering £38million move away. Both United and Liverpool were said to be considering big moves for him at the end of the season following his brilliant campaign, and some believed that the sum alone would be too much for Everton to refuse.
However Martinez’s comments have put paid to that notion entirely. The Spaniard said: “The one thing everyone needs to know is that we are not in need of selling players.”
“If we sell, it will be because the time is right and the squad will be in a stronger position because of it. What is important as a football club is that you don’t have to sell to survive. That is not going to happen.”
The Toffees boss then went on to name Barkley individually, and once again reiterated that they would not be looking to cash in on him come the next transfer window.
“The biggest success story of our season has been the development of our young players,” he continued.
“For me it is extremely exciting to see how players like Ross Barkley and John Stones have developed, and that will continue to be central to what we want to achieve here.”
Despite having been tipped to struggle after the departures of both David Moyes and Marouane Fellaini, Everton have looked comfortable fighting for European places this year, and with a little tinkering to the squad there’s no reason why they won’t be firmly in the mix come next season. If they are to remain in contention for the coveted Champions League places however, players such as Barkley are of paramount importance.