Everton manager Roberto Martinez has attempted to nip speculation linking star midfielder Ross Barkley with a move to Manchester City, Chelsea or Manchester United in the bud before transfer silly season gets in full swing, insisting he won't allow any key players to leave midway through what's been a very difficult campaign.
Barkley has the kind of raw potential which means transfer suitors are never likely to be far away, with the Daily Mail going as far as to suggest Everton will reluctantly listen to any offer in excess of £45 million in their transfer grapevine column last weekend.
Try telling that to Martinez though, who is adamant Barkley will be going nowhere even if Premier League big-boys table a formal offer before the transfer window slams shut.
Martinez under mounting pressure
Martinez told BBC Sport: All our best performers, even if they get lots of attention, no one is going to be going.
"As you can imagine, this January window for us is vital and we will concentrate on recapturing our best form and start building a good momentum. I really enjoy watching Ross, the way he develops on a daily basis and performs. You will always pay a good entrance fee to watch someone like him enjoying his football."
England starlet won't come cheap
The 21-year-old only signed a new four-year contract in the summer after a whirlwind end to last season, which saw the youngster win a place in England's squad for the 2014 World Cup.
Injury robbed Barkley of the chance to build on those displays at the start of the season, with one goal in 13 Premier League appearances helping to tell the story of a campaign where both Everton and their brightest talent have struggled to find top form.
Barkley should of course be judged on far more than his goal return, but if Man City or Chelsea do table a blockbuster offer in the next six months surely Everton will find it very difficult to turn down.
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