Martinez: Everton to make “very strong statement” in rejecting Stones’ transfer request

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John Stones played a decent match for Everton on Wednesday when the Toffees advanced in the League Cup, and Roberto Martinez expects plenty of the same in the future.

Stones, 21, handed in a transfer request to Everton, and reports say Chelsea will follow up with their highest bid yet: around $60 million.

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To Martinez, though, that doesn’t matter. He wants Stones to stay, and says chairman Bill Kenwright isn’t going to cash in this late in the window.

It doesn’t sound like a death knell for the move now, but perhaps until at least January (unless, completely spitballing, there’s a makeweight in the deal like Gary Cahill).

From the BBC:

“Sometimes money can’t buy everything and that is going to be a very strong statement at Everton,” said Martinez.

“This is not a moment when we can use any money to get us stronger.”

…”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.”

What do you think? It’s possible that this is a smoke screen, but Everton has also held onto Ross Barkley, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman when their names were among the hottest on the transfer circuit.