Martinez tells Barcelona: Stones is going nowhere


Everton manager Roberto Martinez has told Barcelona they would not succeed with any potential offer for John Stones in the January transfer window.

The England defender was courted by Chelsea in the close-season and recent reports have suggested the European champions are also monitoring him with a view to making a transfer bid.

Martinez was directly asked about the Barca speculation and he made it clear to any potential suitors of Stones, 21, that Goodison Park was not open for business during the mid-season window.

"None of our best players will be leaving in January - I am not worried at all," he said ahead of his side's Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Saturday.

"The focus is clearly on trying to be strong together and having real continuity in the group.

"From our point of view the window in January will be to see if there is anything that could help the squad in place but we don't look to be really involved in this window - both to buy or sell players.

"January is right in the middle of the season. As you can imagine, we are not in a position where we have to make financial decisions. As I have said many, many times, we do not have to balance any books.

"So the focus is clearly on trying to be strong together and having a real continuity in the group between now and the next international break.

"We want continuity. The signs we have shown so far have been impressive. We are looking to develop that. It is our time to show what we can do."