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Martinez warns rivals off Everton´s youngsters

19 March 2014 11:42

Roberto Martinez is keen to tie down Everton's young stars in an attempt to ward off interest from rival Premier League clubs.

Securing the futures of Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy is high on the agenda for the Spaniard, who hopes to see the trio continue to flourish at Goodison Park.

Barkley's performances in midfield have earned him an England call-up and the 20-year old is being tipped for a place in Roy Hodgson's squad for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Coleman is the top scoring defender in the Premier League this season with six goals, while McCarthy has settled into life on Merseyside well alongside Gareth Barry in central midfield since his move from Wigan Athletic in August.

Arsenal and Manchester City have both been linked with moves for Coleman following his impressive displays this season, but Martinez is keen to hold to the Republic of Ireland international.

"We won't offer encouragement to any club over Seamus," said the Everton boss. "We are already thinking about Seamus, Ross and John Stones. We want to reward them, even James McCarthy.

"That is something we will look at this summer. They are players with long-term contracts.

"It is not a decision just to keep them at the club; it just highlights the next step of their development and rewards them for their performances.

"We hope they will feel excited about developing with the football club and they are footballers I believe to be of the highest, highest level."

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