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Martinez slams Chelsea over Stones pursuit, as Everton sign another young player from a smaller club

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Everton have claimed victory, Chelsea have admitted defeat.  John Stones saga over.  Right?  Not if you're Roberto Martinez!

"As a club we have the player and we can say we are keeping him. We know the pressure that will bring and that is why the chairman deserves incredible credit. Any chairman would look at any financial deal as an opportunity to do things but our chairman has done what any Evertonian would do and made the right decision for the football club, not for the financial aspect. Any chairman would put his manager into a big problem if he sold one of the club’s biggest assets at this stage of the window, and that happens. But our chairman has been very clear and very strong."

"In any transfer deal a player can make a decision on whether to accept a deal or stay when two clubs agree. In this situation the two clubs never agreed. It is no good thinking that because you have a Champions League budget you're going to click your fingers and get anything you want because clearly we don't work like that."

-Roberto Martinez; source: FourFourTwo

Indeed, most negotiations can have two possible outcomes.  The two parties either agree (as presumably Everton have agreed with Barnsley over young Mason Holgate and with River Plate (Montevideo) over young Leandro Rodriguez and probably with River Plate (Buenos Aires) over Ramiro Funes Mori), or they disagree (as we just did over John Stones).  We should work on offering less money and not snapping our fingers though, I guess.

"John is a great footballer but he is a better human being. He is an incredible ambassador for Everton and I know he has been put in a position that is very unfair. John is another victim of this stupid system and he needs protection."

-Roberto Martinez; source: Guardian

The system, man.  The system made him do it!  It was the system!  The system submitted the transfer request!  Boo, system!  (But please, system, go punish Chelsea while protecting our moral high-ground.)

"There is a right time and a wrong time for speculation and to have that sort of instability around your football club as a fan and clearly you don't want it on match days. We will keep an eye security-wise as a football club and every club in this position would do that. During the transfer window we have to be more aware because we are exposing our players to emotions that are normal in this situation. John is in the middle of that storm. Well, he was."

-Roberto Martinez; source: Guardian

I do wonder how Barnsley and River Plate are dealing with losing player so late in the window. Could they possibly have planned ahead for this situation?  Did they also run to the FA demanding protection from clubs above them, while poaching young players from clubs below them?  In a way, everything in football is a touch hypocritical (tribalism, ya know), but Roberto Martinez really has raised it to an art form during this protracted bid-rejection cycle.

"It is a very tough time for him and, as a player, you are a little bit mixed-up. John is in the middle of that storm but now it is very clear. John needs protection. Our fans will be the first to make him feel safe and make him feel in the right environment."

"We need to support John more than ever. It's been a rollercoaster of emotions and I don't think it's fair that any player should have to go through that while having to perform. The football authorities need to look into it seriously."

-Roberto Martinez; source: FourFourTwo

It's going to be hilarious when we fly John Stones down to Cobham at the 11th hour on September 1st, Torres parallels be damned.  And then Everton go crying to the FA (or maybe they're already doing that).  In any case, this is probably not the true end of this saga...

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