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Martinez reiterates stance on Barkley future

Boss stresses desire to keep midfielder long-term after original quotes caused confusion.

Richard Heathcote

Everton boss Roberto Martinez insists that Everton have no intention of selling Ross Barkley and sees his long-term future at the club.

Speculation in the press suggested that rival clubs would make big-money bids for Barkley should he have an impressive World Cup and transform himself into a global star.

That scenario echoes that of Wayne Rooney, who became a household name after shining for England at Euro 2004 and was promptly sold to Manchester United later that summer.

Martinez came out refute those suggestions and insisted the 20-year-old would not be sold, though he did give Evertonians some scares with his original quotes:

"Ross is a phenomenal talent, probably the best English talent I have ever seen, but he is not the finished article yet and you need to be very careful. It’s our duty to protect him and I know Everton is the perfect place for him for the next 12 months.

"In football obviously you can never speak about the future. Obviously we need to come along and try to get into the top-four positions to offer players like Ross the next stage of their development. Ross is delighted at Everton and feels very much that he is in the right place at the right time of his career."

The "12 months"  bit got supporters worried that Everton may be forced to cash in on Barkley in a year's time.

The Liverpool Echo sought to clarify those comments and got the following response:

"It was about Ross’ development and how the next 12 months are crucial.

"This is a vital period for him to fulfil his potential and the environment where he will be is everything. The only place is Everton.

"We want him for the long term but these 12 months are crucial."

I think we all have to be realistic and accept that Barkley may move on in the near future should he continue his meteoric rise.

However, unlike with Rooney a decade ago the club is in a very different place - Everton had just finished 17th when Rooney went with England to Euro 2004.

The excellent season we have just enjoyed under Martinez has given everyone the belief that we can continued that upward trend next season.

Barkley will be a regular Champions League player, but I get the feeling he will wait as long as he can to try and achieve that dream with Everton before even considering a move away,