Chelsea bid for John Stones hurts Martinez as Everton lose to Arsenal in Asia Trophy final
SINGAPORE // Everton manager Roberto Martinez has hit out at the public manner of Chelsea’s attempts to sign his promising young centre-back John Stones.
It was reported that Chelsea had a £20 million (Dh114.6m) offer for the defender, who made his England debut last year, rejected by Everton on Friday.
But the Premier League champions are expected to bid again.
Martinez, talking after a 3-1 defeat by Arsenal in the final of the Premier League’s Asia Trophy in Singapore yesterday, said further bids for the versatile, former Barnsley defender, 21, would not be welcomed.
“We pride ourselves on playing a certain way and educating our young players in a manner that they are going to always get attention from elsewhere and that is always a compliment,” the Spaniard said.
“The other side is the disappointment of seeing a football club leaking such statements to the press and making it so open.
“That is not the way we would do it at Everton, we would not speak of a player who is registered at another club and there is no issue from our point of view – John Stones is an Everton player.”
Pressed again on the issue and the likelihood of further bids from Chelsea, a visibly irritated Martinez offered a firm reply.
“We are not a selling club,” said the coach who won the FA Cup with Wigan Athletic in 2013. “We are not a club that needs to be worried about what other clubs put through the press.”
Meanwhile, a full-strength Arsenal impressed as they got their hands on the Asia Trophy.
Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil scored the goals in a strong display that left manager Arsene Wenger pleasantly surprised by his team’s free-flowing, attacking play.
“I’m pleased with the performance. For long periods we played in a very convincing way and the way we want to play, together, good team play and everybody shared the same vision,” the Frenchman said.
He said he had been a little surprised by the performance because the team had completed a solid training run on Friday and he expected them to be a bit tired.
“But they were quite sharp today,” Wenger said.
Manchester City were the last winners of the biennial Asia Trophy in Hong Kong and went on to win the Premier League the next season, a fact that brought a smile when pointed out to Wenger. “If it was as simple as that everybody would like to play the Asian Trophy every year,” he said.
“I’m long enough in the job to know that it depends on the quality of our performances but it’s good to increase the level of confidence with performances like that.”
Stoke, beaten by Everton in a penalty shootout on Wednesday, defeated the hosts 2-0 in Saturday’s third-place play-off.
Published: July 18, 2015 04:00 AM