Ross Barkley is not for sale at any price, even if an offer eclipsed the £86million world record fee Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale.

That was the determined message from Everton boss Roberto Martinez last night, as he began what he accepts is the inevitable process of fending off interest in a player dubbed England’s next superstar.

Barkley produced another stunning match-winning performance at Swansea to catapult the Blues into the top four, and virtually book his place at the World Cup finals.

It has also magnified the long standing interest in the midfielder from the likes of Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs, but Martinez has boldly stated that there is no chance of him leaving.

“Even if we got a Gareth Bale-size valuation we would never even consider it in January,” the Spaniard insisted.

“Ross is an icon for us. He represents everything we are trying to do this season, so even if a stupid offer arrived in January it would never, never affect us.

“It is important for us as a football club to show we are making the right football decisions. There is no question mark over Ross’ future, he is in the best moment of his time and is everything we want a player to represent at Everton.

“There is not even a question mark against whether he is going to be here in February or not.”

Martinez is a pragmatist who knows that if Barkley continues to develop at his current rate then he will inevitably move one day to one of the giants of the world game.