sport

Martinez unsure of Lukaku future

Everton manager Roberto Martinez will wait until the summer to discuss Romelu Lukaku's future with Chelsea but insists Ross Barkley is staying.

The Belgium international will see out the campaign at Goodison Park having joined the Toffees on a season-long agreement from Chelsea.

Having previously shone during a loan stint at West Bromwich Albion, Lukaku has further enhanced his blossoming reputation with 13 goals in all competitions.

Still only 20 years of age, he appears destined to reach the very top of the game, but uncertainty surrounds where he will be playing next term.

It may be that Chelsea will welcome him back into the first team ranks at Stamford Bridge, but Martinez will also be doing all he can to ensure that Lukaku is back on Merseyside in 2014-15.

He said of the promising frontman: "We need to finish the season as strong as we can and see what next season brings.

"If next season is only domestic competitions then that is one approach, if it is Europe it is a completely different approach and it will depend a lot on the three parties' conversation.

"The parent club has a big say and the player will have a big say. All I'm concentrating on is that the loan has been a big success. That is down to the eight games (remaining) to fulfil the promise."

Martinez added: "From a football point of view he (Lukaku) found it was perfect to be with us and the influence of having Kevin Mirallas from the national team had a big say.

"It was one of those moments that felt right and I felt he was the perfect player we needed.

"It has been really successful, firstly for Rom in that he has developed the way we wanted and Chelsea are happy with the way we treated their player.

"The next eight games are going to be huge for our point of view, but also for Rom's as well."

It has been suggested that Chelsea may want Barkley as part of a deal to take Lukaku to Goodison Park permanently, but Martinez has sought to rubbish those rumours by insisting that another of his highly-rated youngsters is going nowhere.

He said of Barkley: "You want to keep your best performers and at the moment we are looking at Ross as being one of the top players for the future and we want to build our future around Ross Barkley."