Everton deny agreement to let Lukaku and Stones leave
Roberto Martinez insists no deal was struck with star performers to exit Goodison Park
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has overseen John Stones’s development into a world-class player. Photograph: Reuters.
Roberto Martinez has denied having a verbal agreement with Romelu Lukaku, John Stones or any Everton player that they can leave this summer and insisted he would never consent to such a counterproductive strategy.
Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, claimed in a French radio interview last year that Martinez had said he would allow the prolific striker to move “if a good offer comes in”.
The Everton manager has seen Stones develop into one of the most coveted defenders in Europe and told him that last summer was the wrong time to leave after offers from Chelsea.
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“That is not true, I would never do that,” the Everton manager said. “I think that would be very negative. If you do that could you imagine the last two months for that player? He would never put a leg in or never challenge for the ball. I know you can do that to keep a player for another 12 months but if you’re not going to have a player 12 months down the line you need to start replacing him to have a stronger team.”
Everton have started work for next season by completing the €4 million signing of the highly-rated Switzerland under-21 international Shani Tarashaj from Grasshoppers Zurich.
The 20-year-old who plays as a second striker or attacking midfielder, has scored eight goals in 18 appearances this season. Everton moved swiftly to secure his signature, on the condition he remains on loan at the Swiss club for the rest of the season to complete his national service.
Tarashaj is looking forward to developing under Martinez. “I heard that he was a good manager and works well with young players individually – this is what I want to make me a better player,” he said. Guardian Service