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 By Mike Whalley

Martinez confident of Fellaini stay

Roberto Martinez is confident that Marouane Fellaini will stay at Everton, despite the release clause in his contract.

Marouane Fellaini
Fellaini has attracted strong interest from Arsenal

Fellaini, 25, is free to talk to clubs who make a bid high enough to activate his possible release, but Martinez is not worried about losing him.

Reports on Friday suggesting that Arsenal had triggered the clause with a £22 million offer were premature, although they could yet put in a bid, while Chelsea and Manchester United have also been linked with the Belgium international.

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright acknowledged on Wednesday - the day he appointed Martinez as the club’s new manager on a four-year contract - that Fellaini could go for the right price.

But Kenwright expressed optimism that the midfielder would stay, and Martinez shares that view.

The manager told the Sunday Mirror: "I don’t think it’s an issue at all with Marouane. Transfer speculation is unstoppable when you have been as successful as Everton.

"You will always get other teams who admire and want to take your best players. That’s normal and happens everywhere. It happens at Real Madrid, at Manchester United and Everton. So there’s nothing we have to speak about.

"What I want is him to be ready for the next season, be ready to take an important role at the football club, and understand that it is a big season for him - for the club - and to get into the Belgium team to try to win the World Cup.          

"I really don’t believe Marouane is thinking ‘am I going to be here?’ I don’t think that is in his head."

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