Martinez rebuffs ‘waste-of-time’ Jagielka talk

Date published: Thursday 11th February 2016 12:02

Phil Jagielka will not be leaving Everton for China, according to boss Roberto Martinez.

A report suggested the 33-year-old centre-back was the next target for big-spending Chinese clubs but Martinez rubbished that idea, as well as suggestions American goalkeeper Tim Howard could return to Major League Soccer.

“Someone, somewhere has come up with a story. I can tell you there is no substance to that rumour,” said Martinez.

“I can guarantee no-one will leave between now and the end of the season unless it is a loan to the Championship for a player we feel needs a bit of playing time.

“Any speculation is a waste of time.”

Howard and centre-back Stones, who have both missed the last three matches with knee and hamstring injuries respectively, are in with a chance of being fit for Saturday’s visit of West Brom while deadline day signing Oumar Niasse could feature in the squad for the first time.

“John and Tim are in a very similar situation and we are hoping they can join the group at the end of the week and then we can make a full assessment and it will be a late decision to see if they can be involved in the squad at the weekend,” added Martinez.

“Mo Besic (hamstring) is not going to be involved in this squad but I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t involved after West Brom.”

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