Everton are prepared to make Leighton Baines the club’s highest-paid player in order to prevent the England left-back following David Moyes to Manchester United, the
Moyes is said to be keen to take Baines with him to Old Trafford after succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson but his Goodison Park successor, Roberto Martinez, is equally keen to keep Baines on Merseyside and has spoken of his excitement at working with the 28-year-old.
Martinez said of his fellow Wigan Athletic old-boy: “It’s very important and it’s a case of rewarding players, who have been phenomenal for the football club. I think Leighton is in that category.
“For Leighton, as the top performer he has been in the last few years, it is important that we reward his work and make sure that he can look forward to kicking on to the next chapter of his career with Everton. That’s important for the club as a whole, not just the dressing room.”
Baines has been at Everton since 2007 and has two years remaining on his current £44,000 per week contract, but a new deal, with an increase to £65,000 per week, is expected to be put to the defender in the near future.
Last season Baines found the net on seven occasions in 44 games, and has made a total of 246 appearances for the Toffees, with 22 goals to his credit.
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