Ross Barkley: Everton boss Martinez says midfielder will stay

Roberto Martinez and Ross Barkley
Roberto Martinez says there have been no offers for Ross Barkley

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has played down speculation on the future of Ross Barkley, insisting no key players will leave in January.

Barkley, 21, is a reported target for clubs including Manchester City and Chelsea, but Martinez has had no offers for the England midfielder.

"All our best performers, even if they get lots of attention, no one is going to be going," said Martinez.

The Blues boss is hopeful of signing a goalkeeper, with Tim Howard injured.

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Everton enter Tuesday's FA Cup tie with West Ham after four straight defeats, and sitting just four points above the Premier League relegation zone, so Martinez is adamant key players will not leave Goodison Park.

Barkley signed a new four-year contract in July after an impressive season in which he secured a place in the England team at the 2014 World Cup.

He has one goal in 15 outings this season and rumours of a potential move during the January transfer window have emerged.

"As you can imagine, this January window for us is vital and we will concentrate on recapturing our best form and start building a good momentum," said Martinez.

"I really enjoy watching Ross, the way he develops on a daily basis and performs. You will always pay a good entrance fee to watch someone like him enjoying his football."

Barkley's Everton stats
Ross Barkley has played 71 times for the Toffees and scored eight goals

Everton have conceded five goals in the two games since Howard suffered a calf problem on Boxing Day which is expected to keep him out for six weeks.

Joel Robles, with just 12 appearances for Everton, has deputised in goal but back-up options Jindrich Stanek and Russell Griffiths have never played a senior game.

"I would rather make it a long-term signing," said the Everton manager of his search for a new goalkeeper. "I don't think short-term would be a solution for us now.

"You want the young players to be ready and we will give them opportunities but now we have to be relying on experience and that is why we will look into that situation.

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