Everton manager Roberto Martinez has rubbished rumors linking his star players with moves to Europe's elite clubs in the January transfer window, according to the Daily Mail.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of the Merseysider's clash with Aston Villa, Martinez explained: "From our point of view, the window in January will be to see if there are any opportunities to improve the squad.
"It is a matter of continuity. It is about developing the best level we can maintain."
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Toffees youngster John Stones was one of the players in question and subject of an epic transfer saga in the summer, when Chelsea bid several times to acquire his services.
But Martinez put his foot down and refused to sell Stones despite being offered £30 million plus and the young centre-back handing in a transfer request. The Spanish manager showed resilience over the summer and it would appear that the 42-year-old will do the same in January.
Martinez also dismissed speculation surrounding in-form striker Romelu Lukaku. Everton's record signing has scored seven Premier League goals this season, second only to free-scoring Jamie Vardy.
The 22-year-old Belgian has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain over the past week, but Martinez made it clear Everton have no reason to sell their talismanic striker.
He said: "As I have said many, many times, we do not have to balance any books. We want continuity.
"The signs we have shown so far have been impressive. We are looking to develop that."
The Spaniard additionally denied reports linking Everton with a move for former Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar, who is currently without a club. Martinez reiterated his squad was strong enough despite Phil Jagielka being injured up to the New Year.
"At the moment he is unattached but there is nothing to comment on.
"In that position, we have got Tony Hibbert coming back to full fitness, Leighton Baines has had a good period of work. Phil Jagielka is recovering with a brace."
Everton fans' hopes will have been boosted given the reassurance that Baines is close to a return to the first team.
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