Football: Roberto Martinez dismisses links to Manchester United defender Jonny Evans

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has dismissed reports linking his club to a $17 million swoop for Manchester United defender Jonny Evans (above).
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has dismissed reports linking his club to a $17 million swoop for Manchester United defender Jonny Evans (above). PHOTO: REUTERS

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has dismissed reports linking his club to an £8 million (S$17 million) swoop for Manchester United defender Jonny Evans.

Said Martinez at a Barclays Asia Trophy press conference on Friday afternoon: "No, no there's no truth, I know that as far as we've been commenting over the many other names, I can tell you there's no truth in that story."

The Toffees will play Arsenal in the final on Saturday at the 55,000-seater National Stadium, which is expected to be sold out.

Despite Everton having only two senior centre-backs in the squad in captain Phil Jagielka and John Stones, Martinez is ready to rely on the club's academy instead for the new English Premier League (EPL) season. Youngsters such as Brendan Galloway, Tyias Browning and Luke Garbutt have been brought on tour in Singapore to gain first-team experience.

Galloway and Browning were highlighted by Martinez in particular as having made great strides in pushing for a spot in the first-team.

"I think it's important that as a young player you need to be ready when every opportunity comes, and I think we've seen Brendan Galloway starting two games in the league last campaign, and coming into pre-season as a stronger player and a stronger personality and I've been very,very impressed, been surprised from the right point of view in the right manner," he said. 

"Tyias Browning is exactly the same, he's been working extremely well, we get extra pride at the club when a youngster gets given an opportunity and shows that he can add something to the squad, its been very nice for him so far, now we need to see how far he can go," Martinez also said of the 21-year-old.

jslow@sph.com.sg