Everton manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed that talks to extend left-back Leighton Baines' contract have not yet been planned. This news comes despite Manchester United expressing considerable interest in the player over the summer transfer window, with Baines believed to be keen on a move to Old Trafford.
However, Martinez insists that the star will have to wait for a contract extension after his brace of fantastic free-kicks propelled the club to a 3-2 win over West Ham on Saturday.
"At the moment, all we are thinking about is the games and any individual contracts or situations are put aside," Martinez was quoted by ESPN.
"The only thing that concerns me is just to make sure Leighton is 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."
Over the last few Premier League seasons, Baines has enjoyed a mercurial rise in stature, to the point where he is now considered a challenger to Ashley Cole for the title of the world's best in his position. This is in no small part due to his prowess at dead-ball situations.
Martinez has expressed his admiration for these performances, and insists that the player still has more to give going forward in his career.
"He is in a great moment of his career. In the last two games, Leighton has been sensational, probably because he's been able to relax and enjoy his football.
"His contribution, to be able to score goals from dead ball situations is a massive strength in any team, and he's in a moment where the next three or four years are the best in his career," he added.
Meanwhile, the Toffees have been given confirmation of the fitness of defender Darron Gibson and forward Romelu Lukaku, after the latter sustained a head injury in the process of scoring the winning goal in their clash with the Hammers.
Both players featured for Martinez's side during the disappointing 2-1 defeat against Fulham in the Capital One Cup third-round tie at Craven Cottage on Tuesday evening.
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