Everton manager Roberto Martinez expressed disappointment on Saturday following reports that Chelsea FC were looking to increase their bid for defender John Stones after their initial offer for the England international was rejected.
It was reported on Friday that the Premier League champions had made an offer of A?20 million for the 21-year-old, who joined Everton from Barnsley in 2013 and signed a five-year extension with the Goodison Park club last year.
That offer was turned down but subsequent reports in British media have indicated that Chelsea would continue to bid for Stones until they were successful.
Speaking after his team were beaten 3-1 by Arsenal in the Barclays Asia Trophy final at Singapore’s National Stadium, Martinez appeared to be clearly unhappy with Chelsea FC’s open pursuit of Stones.
“First of all, we pride ourselves of playing a certain way and educating our young players in a manner that they are always going to get attention from elsewhere and that is always a compliment. A footballing compliment,” said the Spaniard.
“The other side is the disappointment of seeing a football club making such a statement to the press and making it so openly. I don’t think that is the way we would do it at Everton.
“We would not speak about a player that is registered at another club and there is no issue from our point of view: John Stones is an Everton player, full stop. We are not a selling club in that respect.”
Despite seeing his side lose the final of the pre-season tournament, Martinez said he believed the club was moving in the right direction in their build-up to the new Premier League campaign.
“We are working in order to fulfil our potential. I think that in the last two years we have been very brave in giving young players opportunities to develop important roles and we want to carry on doing that,” he said.
“We want to be strong and as competitive as we can. That is the only focus I have today. I am disappointed with the result but delighted with the attitude and with the positive points that we can take into building upon towards the start of the season.”