Belfast Telegraph

Martinez: Window rules are unfair

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is adamant once a major European league is brave enough to correct the "farcical" transfer window rules, the rest will follow.

For the second summer running, Martinez is heading towards the window closing knowing some of his key players are likely to be hauled through it.

Twelve months ago, during his Wigan days, he lost Victor Moses to Chelsea.

This time around, Leighton Baines and Wednesday night's Capital One Cup match-winner Marouane Fellaini are the ones attracting interest as Manchester United get ready to launch a further attempt to reunite them with former Toffees chief David Moyes.

For Martinez, it is a totally unsatisfactory situation he believes has gone so far it requires the intervention of the game's authorities to stop it.

"We need to be brave enough to find a solution," he said. "If you speak with any league around Europe they are in the same situation, but nobody is ready to make the first move.

"From a human point of view it is very unfair. In any walk of life, you are allowed to think about the next chapter.

"In football, the problem comes when those thoughts and those opportunities arrive when you should be concentrating on winning points.

"That affects the fans and the competition as a whole. It affects every league around the world.

"The solution could be getting rid of the transfer window. It could be making sure the window does not interfere with the competitive games.

"There are many ways to solve it but someone has to be brave because, believe me, the moment one league does it, everyone will follow."

Martinez was at Old Trafford on Monday to hear the Chelsea supporters cheekily chant 'we'll see you next week' at Wayne Rooney.

It brought back memories of a similar rendition at the DW Stadium last season, and, unlike this term, when Rooney is now expected to remain at Old Trafford, Moses was soon on his way to Stamford Bridge.

"We have seen a couple of instances of it now," said Martinez. "When things like that start being repetitive it is because something has changed.

"It is a bit of a farcical position that goes against the values we are trying to present in the Premier League.

"I am sure the authorities will look at it and do something about it because it is becoming a bit of a footballing circus."

Despite Martinez's words, realistically, the only solution would be to scrap the transfer window completely due to the differing start dates of all the leagues.

Yet, it has become such a compelling feature of the modern game the Spaniard does not view that as being a viable alternative.

"It is not ideal for a manager but there is space for the transfer window given the attention it brings," said Martinez.

And, as it is widely anticipated Martinez will make a move for Wigan midfielder James McCarthy should Fellaini leave, it is clear he is not afraid to raid clubs weaker than his own either.

"You always need to make sure when the window closes, the squad is stronger than it was when you started," he said. "That doesn't mean you will never lose players. It means you need to be prepared for any situation."

That statement hints at the likelihood of at least one of his star players leaving.

Yet, contrary to popular opinion, Everton insist they do not have to sell before they can buy, even in the case of McCarthy, who it is said would cost in excess of £10million.

"It is not the case that we have to sell before we can strengthen," said Martinez, who has already brought in Arouna Kone, Joel Robles and Antolin Alcaraz, all of whom he worked with at Wigan, plus Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona.

"There is a little room to carry on bringing players but it doesn't necessarily mean now. It could be in January.

"It is not so much the right players as the right personalities.

"It is easy to spot a player who can help the dressing room. Spotting a character who can fit into the culture of our club is much harder."

Meanwhile, Martinez has confirmed both Alcaraz and midfielder Darron Gibson have returned to training this week after recovering from hamstring and knee complaints respectively. However, neither man is likely to be involved at Cardiff on Saturday.


From Belfast Telegraph