herald

Friday 2 December 2016

Mourinho is keen on Coleman and Stones

Everton boss Roberto Martinez is facing into an uncertain summer with the news that Chelsea are tracking Seamus Coleman and John Stones.

And efforts to make Aaron Lennon's move from Spurs permanent could fail if the price is too high.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho sees Stones as a long term option to replace John Terry while Coleman's marauding full-back play is coveted by several Premier League managers including Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford.

Lennon plays his last match at Goodison Park against Sunderland tomorrow as he is ineligible to face parent club Spurs on the final day of the season.

Martinez, who sat down with chairman Bill Kenwright to outline his plans for the summer in the last week, has been impressed with the England international's impact since arriving in January but accepts there is plenty of ground to cover before they can think about signing the 28-year-old.

"We've sat down but we haven't had the opportunity to go into real detail on figures," he said of his meeting with Kenwright.

"We want to be very strong next season and that means we need to keep hold of all our good performers.

"We've identified three or four positions that we need to strengthen but we have nine points to play for before we can plan for any future squad.

"I think it is a very significant game at the weekend for Aaron. It is the last home game he will be available for and I think he has had a phenomenal impact in our team.

FAIR PLAY

"He has set high standards and made a massive contribution and I would expect exactly the same over the next two games and we want him to finish as strong as he can.

"I think he has enjoyed it and over the next two games we want him to carry on with the levels.

"After that we will sit down and see where Aaron wants to be and what his thoughts are.

"Whatever happens in the future, it needs to be something that the player is happy with. We haven't had any sort of conversation with Spurs."

While mid-tabled Everton could play a significant part in the relegation battle there remains the chance they could still qualify for Europe themselves.

The Premier League could gain an extra place in next season's Europa League via UEFA's Fair Play table with Liverpool (likely to qualify via their league finish), West Ham and Everton England's top-three sides.

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