Everton want to secure Leighton Baines on a new long-term contract before the transfer window reopens in January as they attempt to ward off interest from Manchester United. Bill Kenwright the Everton chairman rejected several bids for the England left-back throughout the summer including a £15m offer on transfer-deadline day. Everton recognise that the Premier League champions' prolonged pursuit placed Baines in a difficult position and intend to reflect the importance of a defender who turns 29 in December with improved extended terms. Everton are also conscious that United's failure to Fábio Coentrão from Real Madrid on Monday means David Moyes will be back in the market for a left-back in January and they intend to open talks over a new deal with Baines and his representatives as quickly as possible. The left-back is believed to earn around £50000-a-week at Everton. Whether they can convince him to extend a contract that has two years remaining at Goodison Park is uncertain. The Everton chairman admitted in June that securing Baines's long-term future was a priority but United's perseverance prevented any negotiations with the former Wigan player. Roberto Martínez the Everton manager said: "While the window is open I think it's the wrong time to speak about those things and so we hadn't discussed it. But now the window is closed we are going to look into all of the players in the squad and see where their contracts are up to. Then individually we will look to address that. It would just have created more instability if we had done that while the window was open." Everton did sell Marouane Fellaini to United for £27.5m after the Belgium international submitted a transfer request but they hope the arrivals of Romelu Lukaku James McCarthy and Gareth Barry will help encourage Baines to stay. Martínez said: "From having interest to a situation where you have to consider a move is very different. Leighton is a very special footballer and a special player for Everton and we are looking forward to him enjoying the challenge that lies ahead. The window is over and there is a good opportunity to concentrate on football. That's the way it should be." Claims that waived bonuses account for £4m of the Fellaini fee have been denied by Everton who insist they will receive the £27.5m in full from United.
Everton keen to hand Leighton Baines improved, long-term contract
The Guardian | Sep 5