Roberto Martinez plays down Everton transfer talk

Lars Baron

Boss cools rumours over moves for Scott Sinclair and Phillipe Hosiner as well as bids for Baines, Fellaini and Jelavic.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez was keen to down play talk of imminent moves in the transfer market at a press conference on Thursday.

After an initial early flurry that saw four players join the club in the space of three days, things have gone rather quiet on the transfer front in recent weeks.

Most Everton transfer rumours have involved potential outgoings, with the Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini saga’s continuing to rumble on.

Though nothing in football should ever surprise you, I am hopeful that Baines will stay at the club this summer. He has crucially shown no inclination to push for a move, putting Everton a strong bargaining position.

If Manchester United want him, then they will have to pay significantly more than their reported £12million valuation of the 28-year-old, something they currently look unwilling to do.

Fellaini’s future is more complicated given the presence of that pesky £24million release clause. It was initially thought it expires on August 15 but The Sun claims it expires on July 31.

Either way we will at least go into the new season knowing how this particular transfer soap opera will end.

Nikica Jelavic to Hamburg is another interesting rumour to emerge in recent days. I, for one, would be sad to see the Croatian go as I feel he is capable of re-discovering his early Everton form, especially now David Moyes, a regular destructor of a striker's confidence, has now moved on.

He could, perhaps understandably, be unsettled by the arrival of Arouna Kone and reports associating Everton with other forward players.

Manchester City reject Scott Sinclair continues to be linked with a season-long loan, though West Brom have since made moves to snap him up.

Austria Vienna striker Phillipe Hosiner has also been named as a possible target, though that remains tabloid gossip for now.

Martinez was quizzed on those rumours and more during a press conference at Finch Farm on Thursday.

The Spaniard unsurprisingly gave little away, and when asked whether any bids had been received for Baines or Fellaini, said:

"Not at all. I know that is not something you want to hear but it is clearly what has been (the case) in the last two weeks."

On Sinclair and Hosnier, he added:

"They are new to me those two."

Then when asked about potential new faces he began to sound a little like David Moyes:

"There is always a potential to bring in more players. We will take our time. It was important to bring four players straight away to make sure the group was strong but we will take our time and use our day-to-day to assess our reaction to work and how we want to play.

"That fine tuning is going to be trying to bring the right characters - people who can help the group. We have a strong group and the last thing I want to do is disturb that."

That sounds suspiciously like code for "we have no money to buy anyone unless a key player leaves".

Or am I just being cynical?

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