Manchester United may have been encouraged in their pursuit of Everton star Leighton Baines after Roberto Martinez admitted talks over a new deal had been "put aside".
Old Trafford manager David Moyes tried to set up a reunion with his former Goodison Park charge this summer, but the £15million bid from Manchester United was rejected late in the transfer window.
Baines was expected to receive a major pay rise in a new deal after not trying to manoeuvre away from the Toffees to the Premier League champions during the transfer window, but Martinez says there are currently more pressing concerns to address.
Manchester United may see this as an opportunity to exploit when the window reopens in January and though the Everton manager did insist a new deal for Baines for would be drawn up, they did not feel pressured to do it before January.
“At the moment, all it is is the games and any individual contracts or situations are put aside,” said the new Everton manager," he is quoted as saying in The Mirror.
“The only thing that concerns me is just to make sure he’s as fit as he can be and gets in a stronger position and balances the demands of England and club level.
“That’s what I’m focused on, that his day to day is perfect. Everything else, behind the scenes we’re happy with the situation and we’re making sure he’s happy as well."
Baines further illustrated this weekend why Manchester United are keen to recruit him, scoring two outstanding free-kicks as Everton came from behind to beat West Ham 3-2 at Upton Park