We're not going to take £38 million - Martinez laughs off Liverpool link for Barkley

Roberto Martinez Press Conference Smiling

Roberto Martinez has dismissed reports linking Ross Barkley with a move across Merseyside.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez today laughed off claims of Liverpool making a shock move for Ross Barkley this summer.

Reports this morning claimed that Brendan Rodgers will attempt to break the Reds' transfer record with a £38M bid for the prodigious midfielder, who rose through the ranks at Goodison Park.

Barkley's stock has spiralled this season, with a place in England's World Cup squad a virtual certainty after making 31 appearances for Everton this season and finding the target six times.

Manchester United were also linked with the 20-year-old earlier in the campaign and former Blues boss David Moyes was alleged to have tabled a £50M bid that was rejected.

And Martinez has made light of the latest reports linking Barkley with a switch to Everton's cross-city rivals.

"In terms of speculation, we already turned down a £50M bid from Manchester United so we're not going to take £38M from Liverpool," he told his pre-match press conference.

“I think it's enjoyable to speak about speculation. It shows how well our players are doing and those are the type of football compliments that we want."

Barkley's teammate John Stones has also been linked with a move away from Goodison, with Chelsea and Arsenal both said to be leading the chase for the highly-rated defender. But Martinez insists that the 19-year-old will not be going anywhere.

He added: "I haven't heard about those rumours but I'm sure he's going to be at a level where we wouldn't send players on loan."

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