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Roberto Martinez plays down rumours Marouane Fellaini is to leave Everton

The new boss says there is “no issue” with Marouane Fellaini despite rumours linking him with a move away.

Mike Hewitt

Chairman Bill Kenwright confirmed at Martinez’s opening press conference last week that the big Belgian has a release clause – believed to be in the region of £26million – for a club in the Champions League.

Arsenal were believed to have activated that clause last week, though those stories were quickly denied. Chelsea have had a long standing interest while David Moyes has also been linked with a swift reunion with Fellaini at Old Trafford.

A lot could rest on the early conversations between Martinez and Fellaini, which should take place in the coming weeks.

If Fellaini wants to leave then it is thought there is a time limit on the release clause, meaning any deal would have to be done early in the summer and not right on the transfer deadline at the end of August.

If Martinez can convince Felliani about his vision for the club, then he may decide to stick it out for another year at least.

This is what Martinez had to say:

"I don’t think it is an issue. You are not talking about a player who is out of the squad or in negotiations with another club. I won’t look to speak to him about this because there is nothing to speak about.

"What I want is him to be ready for the next season, to be ready to take an important role at the Club and understand that it is a big season for him.

"As an individual, he has got an exciting year in front of him and I don’t think he is personally thinking, ‘Am I going to be here?’ I don’t think that’s in his head.

"It is unstoppable when you have been as successful as Everton have that you will get other teams who want to take your players.

"That’s normal — it is a football compliment and gets you going more. But, in this case, it’s not an issue."