Chelsea target John Stones ‘didn’t mean’ to hand in a transfer request, according to Everton manager Roberto Martinez.
Stones has reportedly been the subject of three bids from the Premier League champions, but Everton have been resolute and rejected all three approaches.
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However, things took a twist last week as the England international handed in a transfer request, which seemingly suggested that he was pushing for an exit from Goodison Park.
Martinez has moved to dismiss that notion, and insisted that the pressure put on the 21-year-old ultimately resulted in him making a bad decision.
“He’s such a professional. I had other situations where I had players who couldn’t cope and couldn’t play,” he said, according to Sky Sports.
“I had windows where I had to leave players out completely and when the window closed get him back in the team and what that represents – winning his team-mates over and the fans over.
“With John, it’s very easy because he’s a pristine professional. Obviously he’s been put under massive, massive pressure. The transfer request was something he didn’t mean to do.”
Martinez is convinced that the fans, who had shown some displeasure towards the defender last week, will see it as water under the bridge as the talented youngster now gets back to focusing on football with a move to Stamford Bridge highly unlikely at this late stage of the transfer window.