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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Marouane Fellaini release clause expires

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed Marouane Fellaini's release clause in his contract has expired.

• O'Farrell: Everton season preview

It was reported that the midfielder had a release clause of £22 million in his contract, fuelling speculation that the likes of Manchester United or Arsenal could activate that term.

However, Martinez, who took over from new United boss David Moyes at Goodison Park this summer, has suggested an exit for the Belgium international is now unlikely.

Martinez said: "Marouane had a clause that was very straightforward, but that finished on July 31. Everyone was a bit expectant. We now focused on adding to the squad."

Left-back Leighton Baines has also been linked with a switch to Old Trafford, but Martinez is insistent that his key players will remain on Merseyside.

"I'm not concerned at all. I'm looking internally at our squad and this (speculation) is normal. Until it closes, you will get speculation," the former Wigan manager said.

"Not just at Everton but every other club. Up until now, all we have done is talk about speculation. Now this is the start of the season and we can look forward. It does not affect us internally.

"We need to make sure we start the season well and we want to close the window with the strongest possible squad. Then you can evaluate. This is not a moment to set targets in terms of points."

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