Everton say money can't buy Stones

LONDON • Everton yesterday rejected John Stones' transfer request, with manager Roberto Martinez warning Chelsea that "money can't buy everything".

Stones started Everton's dramatic 5-3 extra-time win at Barnsley on Wednesday despite submitting a transfer request to Martinez on the eve of the League Cup second-round tie.

The England international produced a below-par display as the third-tier side raced into a two-goal lead before succumbing to a fine, Gerard Deulofeu-inspired fightback from the English Premier League club.

Martinez denied the 21-year-old had been distracted by Chelsea's on-going pursuit, with the champions having had three offers rejected so far and expected to return with a bid totalling £40 million (S$87 million) before Tuesday's transfer deadline.

And the Everton manager gave Jose Mourinho no encouragement in his pursuit of a player ear-marked as John Terry's long-term replacement at Stamford Bridge.


We've got great ambition for John and it has clearly got to the point now where, in football as in life, money can't buy everything.

ROBERTO MARTINEZ, Everton manager

"We have not rejected it yet because today was a match day and that was our priority," said Martinez on the transfer request. "We will reject it in the morning and get on with our business."

Stones has four years remaining on his contract at Goodison Park and Martinez reiterated his long-held position that the former Barnsley defender will not leave Merseyside this summer.

He said: "The situation with John is very clear. We care about him, we want to protect him and give him everything we can to allow him to enjoy his football during this tough period.

"We've got great ambition for John and it has clearly got to the point now where, in football as in life, money can't buy everything. That's going to be a very strong statement at Everton.

"We want to build a winning team and so we want to keep our best performers."

Kevin Mirallas and Gary Naismith got Everton back on level terms only for Dan Crawley to make it 3-2 on the hour mark to Barnsley.

But Romelu Lukaku made it 3-3 to send the match into extra time, where Marc Roberts put a cross from Deulofeu into his own net.

Lukaku made the game safe as Barnsley pressed for an equaliser.

Everton will be away to second-tier side Reading in the third round next month.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2015, with the headline 'Everton say money can't buy Stones'. Print Edition | Subscribe