Roberto Martinez rules out Seamus Coleman leaving Everton for Man Utd
Robbie Keane almost certain to finish career at LA Galaxy after extending contract
Seamus Coleman: “He’s becoming a very, very important player at Everton,” says Roberto Martinez. Photograph: Scott Heavey/Getty Images.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has dismissed reports this week that Manchester United are on course to sign
Republic of Ireland full back Séamus Coleman this summer.
The Donegalman has been in outstanding form for the Merseyside outfit this season, combining a continued willingness to get forward with an increasingly rounded defensive side to his game and links with United, where former Everton boss David Moyes, assuming he survives, is bound to embark on a major rebuilding programme once the campaign is ended, are fairly inevitable.
Only this week, however, Martinez has said that he intends to reward the 25-year-old for his recent form with an improved deal in the summer despite the fact that his current one runs for another four years.
The move is clearly aimed at preventing rival clubs turning the defender’s head but the Spaniard yesterday ridiculed the suggestion that a move was already in the pipeline.
“It must be a different Séamus Coleman because we’ve never had any discussions with anyone,” he said. “I think the truth is that Séamus has been having a very good season and we want that to continue and hopefully in the next 10 games he can continue with the levels he’s shown and developing.
“He’s becoming a very, very important player at Everton, a very important player for his national team and obviously we want Séamus here for a long, long time. So it’s nothing to comment on. We’ve got a clear strategy of how we want to keep this group together, we’ve got a new generation coming through (and) we’re going to keep the senior players for as long as we can. Obviously that’s something we work on and it’s not going to change because of media speculation.”
Robbie Keane, meanwhile, has acknowledged that he is now virtually certain to stay put at LA Galaxy for the rest of his playing days after having recently signed a further contract extension with the club.
“With signing a contract I think I can definitely see myself finishing (my career) in America,” he said. “There’d be no point in my, at this stage, going back to England. For what? I’ve scored a lot of goals there, played a lot of games.
“Unless you’re going to go back and play for a team that’s going to win stuff. If not, I don’t see any reason to go back.”
The 33-year-old Dubliner has done well since moving to the MLS and scored twice this week against Club Tijuana in the Concacaf Champions league although it wasn’t enough to prevent his side crashing out of the competition.
The FAI has finally confirmed that the Irish team will face Italy at Craven Cottage in London on May 31st. Tickets for the game are available from Fulham at www.fulhamfc.com/tickets. Tickets start at £25 for adults and £10 for children but will go up by £5 in the days leading up to the game.
The game will come six days after the home friendly against Turkey with further matches against Costa Rica in Boston on June 7th and Portugal in New York three days later set to be confirmed over the coming weeks.