New Everton boss Roberto Martinez has told Sky Sports that he believes the club will be able to hold onto key players Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini despite rumors linking each of them with a move away from Goodison Park this summer.
Both Baines and Fellaini have been courted in the English press by Premier League champions Manchester United, who are looking to improve their squad under former Everton manager David Moyes, with a recent bid having been rejected by the Merseysiders for Baines.
“This is the moment of having speculation, having talks and clubs looking around. I see it as a real compliment – you don’t get that if you don’t perform well,” the Spanish manager told Sky Sports.
“We are Everton and we want to keep our best performers and we have got our own aims and that is very clear.
Fellaini, a Belgian international, has been at the center of transfer speculation this summer, as multiple clubs including English giants Arsenal and United have pursued the holding midfielder. Meanwhile, the Red Devils have been connected on and off to Baines throughout the past two seasons, with neither former manager Sir Alex Ferguson or current manager David Moyes having been successful in bringing the left-back to Old Trafford.
Everton meanwhile, have added four players to strengthen their squad, including Arouna Kone from Wigan, Martinez’s old club, and Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu, who was signed on loan from the Spanish giants on a season-long deal.
Martinez, who left Wigan for Everton at the beginning of the summer, will likely continue to hold strong on Fellaini and Baines, hoping that he can convince the two stars to stay at Goodson Park to compete for the Premier League title.
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