Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2014 20:06 | By Agence France-Presse

Everton coach Martinez amused by Barkley talk

Everton manager Roberto Martinez on Tuesday laughed off speculation that Merseyside rivals Liverpool are preparing a huge bid for his England midfielder Ross Barkley.

Everton coach Martinez amused by Barkley talk

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley (R) stretches to block the ball from Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker (L) during the English Premier League match at Goodison Park in Liverpool, northwest England, on April 6, 2014 RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications - by Paul Ellis

Barkley, 20, is expected to be a member of the England squad that travels to Brazil for this year's World Cup after a superb season at Goodison Park.

His form has prompted claims in the British media that Liverpool are prepared to spend £38 million ($63.6 million, 46 million euros) to take him to Anfield, but Martinez gave the stories short shrift.

Alluding to reports of interest in Barkley from Manchester United earlier in the season, he joked: "In terms of the speculation, we already turned down a £50 million bid from United, so we're not going to take £38 million from Liverpool.

"It's quite enjoyable to speak about speculation. I think it shows how well our players are doing and those are the type of football compliments that we want coming our way."

Martinez was speaking ahead of his side's home game with Crystal Palace on Wednesday, when they will bid to register an eighth consecutive Premier League victory.

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