Manchester United's pursuit of long-term transfer target Leighton Baines has effectively ended in frustration this morning, with the England international putting pen to paper on a four-year contract at Goodison Park.
Former Toffees boss David Moyes attempted to take the left-back with him to Old Trafford last summer, but Everton rejected a double offer for Baines and Marouane Fellaini before eventually allowing the Belgian international to complete a switch worth £27.5m.
Moyes is still actively seeking a long-term replacement for veteran Patrice Evra at left-back, but Baines will have to come off the shopping list after Roberto Martinez finally persuaded the 29-year-old to sign fresh terms today.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez confirmed his delight at securing Baines' future via the club's official website, declaring: "It would be an understatement to say we are delighted to secure the best footballing years of Leighton Baines at our club.
"It's a massive boost and exciting for the future. Leighton has just turned 29 and brings the right measure of maturity and football knowledge in a very specialised position on the pitch, bringing an infectious and positive influence to the rest of the squad.
"I know that every fan will be delighted with the news and we all share that excitement looking at what's left of this campaign and beyond. With the crucial games we have ahead, it is going to be vitally important to have Leighton's experience there to help us fight for our aims."
Baines is midway through his seventh season on Merseyside, a spell which has seen become a firm favourite at Goodison Park while nailing down a starting spot at international level thanks to fine club form.
Everton will now hope Baines spends the rest of his playing days at Goodison Park but the Toffees have little time to dwell on their latest success in terms of contract negotiations, with the season's second Merseyside derby looming large tomorrow night.
United meanwhile will likely turn their attention to Southampton full-back Luke Shaw, with Evra's deal expiring this summer as Moyes looks to find a long-term winning formula at Old Trafford.
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