Everton latest: Martinez denies Man Utd rumours, confirms midfielder's absence

Arouna Kone

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A large part of Everton's success this season has been the development of Irish defender Seamus Coleman, but his impressive displays have attracted interest from Manchester United, and Toffees boss Roberto Martinez seemed perplexed by the speculation.

“It must be a different Seamus Coleman, because we've never had any conversations with anyone,” Martinez said. “The truth is that Seamus has been having a very good season and we want that to continue.

“He's becoming a very important player at Everton. He's going to be a very important player for his national team. And obviously we want Seamus to stay here for a long time, so it's nothing to comment on," the Spaniard added.

Whilst addressing the press this morning, Martinez also confirmed that midfielder Steven Pienaar could miss over a fortnight of action after sustaining an injury against Arsenal earlier this month.

"It’s hard to tell now. He had a knock on his knee and his cartilage was affected, so we’re going to make sure he gets the right treatment. I expect the term is probably going to be two or three weeks, and then we’ll see how well he recovers," he said.

Earlier this week, Martinez was praised by midfielder Ross Barkley, and it seems he has had a positive impact on other players in his Everton squad, with injured striker Arouna Kone suggesting that his former Wigan boss is the best manager in the Premier League.

“Next season will be massive for me. I want to play every game and make up for lost time," said Kone, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since November. "Goals will be my priority obviously. I want to help get us into the top four. I came here because of Roberto [Martinez] and it was always my objective to carry on working with him when he left Wigan and took over at Everton."

“He [Martinez] is the best in the Premier League. He gives us the two technical insights of England and Spain, where I have also played. I have progressed enormously as a player under him. Every day you learn under him. He speaks so well with the players and makes us more confident. He is a people-person who gets close to his players," the Ivorian said

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