Roberto Martinez discusses how Everton can keep John Stones

The Toffees boss has claimed that a top-four place is essential for the club to hold onto their best players.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has admitted that his side need to finish in the top four this season if they are to hold onto their best players such as John Stones, as reported by The Mirror.

The Goodison Park outfit have compiled a competitive squad, with strength in depth in all positions for the Merseyside team.

A handful of real stars are the envy of other clubs, with Stones in particular a player that is wanted by other top teams.

Chelsea pursued the England international over the summer and had a number of bids rejected by Everton, who were defiant in the face of the Premier League champions’ interest.

Martinez has been speaking out about the prospect of some of his best players seeking moves to other clubs and admitted that qualifying for the Champions League this season was essential for his team.

“There are two things that can keep a player happy,” The Mirror quote the Spaniard as saying.

“One is that he’s got a stimulation to become better and he can see that he’s growing every day and the other is to be in the best leagues and the best competitions.

“So you have to get into the Champions’ League, that’s the top and bottom of it. That’s why sometimes you have to set a season where everyone invests into the team and then see where that can take you, that’s what we’re doing now.”

With Chelsea’s poor opening to the new campaign, a place in the top four looks more achievable for Everton this season.

The likes of Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu are also stars that have been mentioned as having big-name suitors.

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