Roberto Martinez has put out a warning to David Moyes that his left-back target Leighton Baines is not for sale.
Moyes is a huge admirer of Baines and has reportedly expressed his desire to bring the England international to Old Trafford, especially in light of Patrice Evra’s potential move to Monaco. But it seems that Martinez will make it his first task in charge of the Merseyside club to keep all of his senior players.
Baines has two years left on his current deal with the Toffees and Martinez has urged Everton chairman Bill Kenwright to offer funds in order to ensure the 28-year-old Baines and the other senior players remain at the club. Kenright has since revealed that a strategy already exists to keep Baines in Merseyside and has sent Moyes a clear message regarding the player.
"Leighton is under contract, and I've told David not to come back for him," the chairman explained to reporters.
"Most of our players, if not all of them, are under good, long contracts at the moment, and Roberto went through each of the players, talking on my sofa, saying what they could do.
"He is looking forward to getting all of them together and keeping hold of them. He rates them all.
"There has been no back and forward dialogue with Leighton about a new contract yet, but that will start. He knows we want him to stay.
Baines played a crucial part in Everton’s successes last season and will be vital for the club going forward. Martinez realises the Englishman’s worth and is desperate to retain his services. He confirmed that every effort will be made to keep the left-back at the club.
"For me, Leighton has been the best left-back in the league for a few seasons now, and I'm really excited to work with him," the Toffees' new boss explained to The Mirror.
"This dressing room finished top six and it is one of the most impressive teams, who have developed a winning mentality - it is something we cannot afford to lose."
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