Everton boss Roberto Martinez silent over John Stones Chelsea rumours

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez is growing weary of the on-going John Stones saga and refused to entertain questions about the possibility of the England defender handing in a transfer request.

Chelsea have had three bids rejected for the 21-year-old, the latest reportedly worth in excess of £30million, and there are suggestions the centre-back is considering formally asking to leave.

The future of the youngster, who joined from Barnsley from £3million in January 2013, is a subject which has dogged Martinez since interest from Jose Mourinho surfaced but having repeatedly stated the defender is not for sale the Spaniard no longer has anything to say on the matter.


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"Once more, it is always the same question and always the same answer," said the Everton manager ahead of their Capital One Cup trip to League One Barnsley.

"The only thing that matters now is the game we have in front of us. There is nothing to announce or discuss.

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"I know it is your job to keep asking the same question and unfortunately it is my job in this case to always give you the same answer."

Asked specifically what the club's response would be to a Stones transfer request Martinez added: "There is nothing to comment on that."

The club are currently trying to tie up deals for Argentinian defender Ramiro Funes Mori and his River Plate Montevideo team-mate Leandro Rodriguez, a striker.

They are close to an agreement with the former but would still have to secure a work permit for the South American.

"At the moment it hasn't been concluded but we are positive about the outcome," said Martinez.

"We have a good relationship with River Plate and we are hopeful we can get Ramiro as an Everton player over the next few hours.

"There has been a bit of a change in the work permit rules and we will take the opportunity to test the new process in place, and we are quite confident we can achieve the points needed."

Martinez is also confident of securing a deal for Rodriguez.

"We always keep an eye on young players of potential and Leandro is a very talented young man," he said.

"At the moment there is nothing to announce but he would fit into that outstanding young talent (bracket) like Mason Holgate (signed from Barnsley earlier this month) and is a player who we would love to see if we could get a positive outcome."

Martinez is keen, however, to focus on football and has been boosted by the return to full fitness of Bryan Oviedo, who he confirmed will start at Oakwell.

The Costa Rica international has been dogged by injuries in the last two seasons but is ready to reignite his Everton career.

"Bryan Oviedo will start. Bryan has been really unfortunate over the last year or so but he's been working really well in pre-season and was fantastic in training yesterday," he said.

"We are all very excited to see him enjoying his football again. We know how difficult it has been for him to miss out on the World Cup and some important games.

"You just feel sometimes as a footballer you need to hit rock-bottom in order to look up and start building your own potential, and I think Bryan is fully refreshed and desperate to be on the pitch."

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