• Premier League

Chelsea don't have first option on Barkley - Martinez

ESPN staff
August 15, 2014
All set for Premier League kick-off

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has denied Chelsea have a first option on Ross Barkley after allowing Romelu Lukaku and Christian Atsu to move to Goodison Park.

Lukaku spent last season on loan at Everton, before going on to sign permanently for a club-record fee of £28 million this summer, while Atsu was secured on a temporary deal earlier this week.

Martinez admits Everton and Chelsea share a "good relationship," but is adamant that his side do not risk losing one of their key players as a result.

"No, no. Not at all," he said when asked if Chelsea had secured an option on Barkley - who signed a new Everton contract last month - as part of the Lukaku and Atsu deals.

"We have a good relationship and a professional relationship and I want to believe that they [Chelsea] feel that they can trust us in sending players out on loan.

"I don't think that relationship goes any further. The chairman [Bill Kenwright] has been instrumental in forging that relationship more than anyone.

"He has developed that bridge between the two clubs and there is a possibility for both to use it in a good way, but there is no commitment in any sort of future deals."

Martinez went on to speak about Atsu's arrival at the club, and he says he is looking forward to working with the 22-year-old.

"Atsu is the kind of player that you want to see involved with the ball," he said. "I see a young man with potential who is hungry to do well. This is a really good opportunity for him.

"We want him to develop unforgettable memories. I expect a little bit of an adaptation period. I just feel that because he has been working at a Premier League club it will make it [his transition] smooth."

Martinez could well make a move for another striker during the transfer window; Everton are reportedly interested in Samuel Eto'o and the club could enter a bidding war with rivals Liverpool to secure the free agent's signature.

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