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Roberto Martinez can switch gears to additions now that Fellaini’s release clause has expired

Belgium v France - International Friendly

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - AUGUST 14: Marouane Fellaini of Belgium moves away from Geoffrey Kondogbia during the International friendly match between Belgium and France at the King Baudouin Stadium on August 14, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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New Everton boss Roberto Martinez admitted he sweated the future of star midfielder Marouane Fellaini while other clubs circled overhead.

Now, the manager has confirmed that the release clause for Fellaini expired on July 31, giving his current club full control over the player’s future. Somewhat shockingly, nobody activated the £23 million ($36 million) release clause.

This was cause for celebration in the Everton camp, as now Martinez can switch to focusing on adding squad depth rather than how they will replace the Belgian.

“Marouane had a clause that was very straightforward, but that finished on July 31" said Martinez. “Everyone was a bit expectant. We now focused on adding to the squad.”

There was much speculation that former Toffees manager and current United boss David Moyes would use the release clause to bring Fellaini with him to United, but that never materialized.

Martinez admitted the time towards the end of the clause was stressful, but stressed the club maintained their composure. “This is not a situation where we are actively putting up players for sale because we need the money, it is definitely not the case at all. And when you are in a strong position financially you will never sell a player for less than the buy-out clause.

“Marouane has that clause in his contract, and on July 31 it expired. From that point on, the club has got complete control in every single transfer. The clause lets everyone know where they stand. Yes, you are sweating on July 30 and 31, but after that we don’t have to sell players. It’s as simple as that.”