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Martinez plays down Ross Barkley rumours

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Boss has no interest in selling key players in January

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Most Evertonians will not be surprised to hear that manager Roberto Martinez has quickly denied reports that Everton are ready to cash in on Ross Barkley this month.

The Mail on Sunday suggested that Martinez was willing to sell the England midfielder to Manchester City for in excess of £45million to help fund further signings elsewhere in order to arrest Everton's worrying slide down the table.

We are well used to these rumours now, they have been appearing in the tabloids for years. The likes of Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman and John Stones have all been peddled to opposition clubs by the media recently but all remain at Goodison Park.

I'm sure there is interest from City in Barkley, who wouldn't be keen on one of the country's most promising talents. And if Everton we willing to sell him then City, with Sheikh Mansour's billions, would be first in the queue.

However, despite our wretched recent form Martinez believes keeping the squad in tact and get players fit and back in form is the key to rescuing our season, not selling our best players.

"This January window for us it is vital we concentrate on recapturing our best form so you can imagine all of our best performers even if they get a lot of attention they are not going to be anywhere."

Martinez also sent a message to restless supporters who are increasingly concerned at the club's poor form in recent weeks.

The Spaniard, who I have to admit looked like a man under pressure in his latest news conference, denied rumours of a rift and insists everyone is determined to turn the corner, starting with the FA Cup third round against West Ham on Tuesday.

"We've had a tough run of results but it's up to us all as a club to show what we're capable of again in the second half of the season. We showed consistently last season what we're capable of doing.

"The message to the fans is very clear, we're all together and at any time in adversity it is about finding a way to become a winning side. It's time to help each other, help the players and we will get reward for it because the talent is there."

"We've got three games now at home and that's really important. We need that positive result that's going to trigger our season."