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Everton will not consider selling John Stones in January

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
John Stones - not for sale
John Stones - not for sale

Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea will all be disappointed if they attempt to sign Everton defender John Stones in January, according to Toffees boss Roberto Martinez.

Everton turned down a series of bids from Chelsea for 21-year-old Stones last summer and club chairman Bill Kenwright eventually issued a statement confirming they would not consider selling the player for any price.

Speculation is already mounting to suggest Chelsea will return with fresh bids for Stones when the transfer window opens on January 1st, while Manchester United and Barcelona are also believed to be tracking the highly rated youngster.

Yet Martinez and Everton sources are confirming that they will not sanction a deal to sell Stones any time soon, even if the bids received exceed £40m.

"We're not in a position where we have to make financial decisions," stated Martinez. 

"The focus is clearly on trying to be strong together and having a real continuity.

"From our point of view, the transfer window will be to try to see if there is anything we can do to help the squad we have.

"If there are any opportunities, we will always look into it. But we don't look at this window as one to be really involved, to bring players in or sell players.

Barcelona's reported interest in Stones confirms that his stock is rising at a rapid rate, with Gerard Pique's move to name him in his dream team earlier this month evidence that his reputation is growing across Europe.