Everton manager Roberto Martinez remains adamant John Stones will not be sold despite the player submitting a transfer request and the "circus" which currently surrounds him.
The 21-year-old played in the 5-3 extra-time Capital One Cup win over League One Barnsley just 24 hours after telling the club he wants to leave in order to join Chelsea, who have failed with three bids for the England international.
Despite the prospect of the Stamford Bridge side returning again with an offer greater than their last £30million bid, Martinez insists the centre-back will not be leaving and pledged to look after a young player he believes is under huge pressure.
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"John, for a young man under massive pressure, was terrific," said Martinez, who revealed he had not yet rejected the transfer request but would do so in the morning as he had been focused on the match.
"I am repeating myself but I don't think it is right for the football authorities to allow the window to be open when there are important games.
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"We shouldn't put our players under that massive pressure. It becomes a bit of a circus.
"The situation with John is very clear. We care about him, we will protect him and make sure we give him everything we can to allow him to enjoy his football.
"Clearly we have got to a point - in life and football - when sometimes money can't buy everything and I think that is going to be a very strong statement at Everton.
"We have a chairman who will do the right thing for the club and for the team and as a true Evertonian we are clear he will not be easily influenced in taking the money and accepting things which will clearly make our team weaker.
"This is not a moment of the campaign when we can use any money to get us stronger."
"It is a reminder for everyone that whenever you go into a game it does not matter what type of opposition you play, if you are not 100 per cent you will find it tough," he added.
"I was delighted with our reaction in the second half. Some of the football and goals and chances were fantastic.
"We should have scored more and it shows a really strong intent that sends a message we really care about the cup and want to do well."
Barnsley head coach Lee Johnson could not fault his players for their performance.
"I am very proud. For large parts of that game we were equal to a top Premier League side," he said.
"We are disappointed not to come out of the tie winning, certainly given the position we were in, but I am so pleased with the players."
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