Everton not forced to sell Baines, says Martinez

The Spaniard insists the club have control over who leaves Goodison Park and believes players being linked with a move away is a positive thing
Roberto Martinez insists Everton will not be forced to sell Leighton Baines in the January transfer window.

The left-back was among David Moyes’ priority targets at Manchester United in the summer, while Goal exclusively revealed in October that the Premier League champions want the England international to hand in a transfer request in order to force through a move to Old Trafford.

When asked if Everton are in a position which requires them to offload Baines in order to boost their budget, Martinez replied: “No, no, no. We were at that stage in the summer.

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“But once we had that situation when Marouane [Fellaini] and Victor Anichebe left, that gave us the opportunity to reinvest and now we are in a position where we need a bit of continuity and time to squeeze our potential as a team.

“We're in a period where we need to be focusing on games and trying to push ourselves to the maximum, to see how good we can become this season. It's important we have that stability now.”

Martinez admits players being linked with a move away from Goodison Park can be a positive thing and believes the club are not pressurised into allowing their star performers to leave.

“I hope we get asked about Ross Barkley and James McCarthy also because that would be a good sign,” said the Spaniard.

“I don't mind that, as long as we're in a position where we can control what happens.

“It's different when you've got someone out of contract. The problem is when you've got no one talking about your players because that means they're struggling.

“So I don't mind that as long as we are the ones who are making the calls. We are in a position now which means we can do that.”