Martinez: We will reward Ross

, 13 December, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent

Roberto Martinez says that Everton intend to reflect Ross Barkley's growing importance to the team with a new and improved contract.

A report in The Telegraph on Thursday suggested that the Blues would open talks with the midfield prodigy in the New Year but Martinez explains there is no timetable for negotiations at the moment.

Barkley signed an extension to his first professional deal in December 2011 when he turned 18 and his future is committed to the club until June 2016 but Everton will be mindful of covetous eyes watching their burgeoning talent and will seek to offer him more lucrative terms to keep him at Goodison Park.

"Ross has got a long-term contract with us so it is not a situation where he is coming to the end of his contract," Martinez says in The Guardian.

"As a club, we will always want to reward young players if they do well in the first team and their roles change. Remember that Ross was a youngster trying to break into the first-team squad. Now, for me, he is going to have an important role in the squad, so that is going to be reflected. But there is not a timescale [on contract negotiations].

"It is something that is in my thoughts. As soon as we conclude that, we will let the fans know. It is the same for every young player, not just for Ross. Every youngster that comes in and allows himself to step up into a new role, that is going to be recognised in a contract. If his contract is up at the end of the season or he has another five years, it doesn't matter."

For his part, Barkley admitted that he was encouraged by Martinez's appointment, feeling that the new boss' track record with young players at Wigan gave him hope that he could crack the first team this season.

"I knew when I heard he was coming in that I'd get my chance this season," Barkley says. "I'd seen the way he was with Callum McManaman and James McCarthy at Wigan, that he gives young players their chance.

I knew I was the type of player to suit him because he's a really tactical manager who likes to build up the play. So I felt confident this could be the season I'd break through."

Quotes or other material sourced from The Guardian

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