SAN FRANCISCO – For newly-appointed Everton coach Roberto Martinez, speculation linking his star players Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini to other clubs is a compliment, not a concern.
According to the press in England, new Manchester United manager David Moyes is interested in bringing the pair to Old Trafford.
Both Baines and Fellaini started for Everton in a preseason penalty win over Juventus in the Guinness International Cup on Wednesday night, and Martinez brushed aside questions about their futures in the post-match press conference.
“That's not a concern,” Martinez said. “I know that's what the media wants to know and those are the questions in the press. What I'm really really happy [about] is that Marouane Fellaini, he hasn't missed a training session. Leighton Baines is an impressive, impressive footballer that has been an ambassador for Everton. I'm looking forward to working with every player in this squad.”
Martinez replaced Moyes at the Toffees this summer. The Spaniard left Wigan after winning the FA Cup but falling to relegation. Moyes spent a decade with Everton before replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, who retired, at Man United.
Any interest in Moyes' former players from the reigning Premier League champion won't instigate bad blood on the part of Martinez.
“Whatever happens in the speculation I take as a compliment,” Martinez said. “You don't get clubs looking at your players if they don't perform well or they are not talented footballers. I'm not concerned about that at all. I'm concerned about being able to grow as a team step by step and making sure that when the window closes we are as strong as we can be.”
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