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Everton eager to tie up young gun Barkley

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has made clear the clubs ambitions to secure Ross Barkley to a new contract.

The 20-year old England international has become a mainstay in Martinez's midfield this season and despite already having a long-term deal, the Spaniard is looking to reward him for his outstanding development with the Toffees.

"We are working behind the scenes to reward youngsters, and Ross clearly deserves it. He showed in pre-season he was desperate to help the team, he's getting better and is a good listener. He is a pleasure to work with," he said ahead of Saturday's home meeting with Fulham.

"He never gets fazed by the situation - you saw he was himself in the Merseyside derby. The scale of the game doesn't affect him. He is emotionally level-headed and physically is really capable.

"It is important to measure him weekly to see that he doesn't burn himself out, but I have been very, very impressed with how he has coped with it."

Martinez added: "Ross has got a long-term deal with us, so it's not a situation where he is coming to the end of his contract.

"But 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 squad. Now, for me, he is going to have an important role in it, so that is going to be reflected - but there is not a timescale."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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