Everton manager Roberto Martinez has taken fellow Premier League club Chelsea to task for their "methods" in chasing young defender John Stones. The Toffees have already rejected the London club's first approach for the player, with their £20million offer being widely considered as derisory. While we all knew that Chelsea would come back waving their oil-oligarch Roman Abramovich's chequebook, it is not surprising that Martinez has blasted the title-winners back.
"At Everton, we take pride in developing young players and giving them our own way of football education. Therefore, when a youngster is linked to a big club it is a matter of pride.
"However, Stones will very much be an Everton player. We are not a selling club.
"At Everton, we would not have chosen methods adopted by Chelsea. I am not happy at them having spoken to the media in such a manner."
It is not quite clear what the Spaniard means by Chelsea speaking to the media - club captain John Terry was widely quoted recently as saying that he was "a big fan" of his. What is clear though is that Roberto will not tolerate the constant badgering that the big money clubs have resorted to. Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have all been told off at different times for their relentless pursuit of James McCarthy, Kevin Mirallas and Leighton Baines among other players.
In the past Everton have been forced to sell too, with Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini among the players who have left the club for big money. However, with the Premier League flush with television cash, the Blues have no need to sell to "balance their books". Any money coming in now would only go towards the purchase of new prospects and development of the Finch Farm training facility, though talk of a new stadium or a refurbished Goodison is never far behind.