Everton planning contract talks with Baines

Everton will open contract negotiations with England international Leighton Baines, Sky Sports has reported, after withstanding interest and a series of offers from Manchester United for the defender during the transfer window.

Baines was the subject of a joint approach with Marouane Fellaini which Everton rejected, as well as offers on an individual basis, also turned down by the Merseyside club, who did consent to selling Fellaini shortly before the close of the transfer window. Baines currently has two years remaining on his contract, and Everton are keen to extend the stay of the 28-year-old.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez revealed he believes this is the right time to speak with Baines about fresh terms, with the window closed and the left-back’s future less up in the air. “When the window is open I think it’s the wrong time to speak about those things and so we hadn’t discussed it,” Martinez said.

But now the window is closed, we are going to look into all 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,” the former Wigan Athletic boss added.

Baines left Wigan for Everton in the summer of 2007, and has since gone on to make almost 250 appearances for the Toffees, scoring 22 goals. He also has 18 England caps to his name and is part of Roy Hodgson’s squad to play Moldova and Ukraine in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

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