Everton left-back Leighton Baines has spoken out for the first time about speculation surrounding his future, and said that rumours of a possible summer move to Manchester United had no affect on him, reports BBC Sport.
In an interview with Football Focus, the England international explained how he was kept informed by new Toffees boss Roberto Martinez about developments regarding the interest of his former manager, and was able to focus fully on the season ahead at Goodison Park.
David Moyes tried to bring Baines to Old Trafford, after succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager in the summer, and the 29-year-old admitted that it was flattering to be so highly thought of by both his former and current mentors.
"I talked about it [Manchester United's interest] a lot with the manager, we had a lot of conversations because so much seemed to be going on," he said.
"A lot of it I wasn't aware of, so I had to go to him [Roberto Martinez] a lot of the time and find out what was happening.
"Obviously we were away in pre-season in different places and so it was quite easy to do that. He kept me informed and the thing he kept saying to me is until they tell me otherwise, I don't have to let it affect me or really think about it too much.
"It's not something I had to consider, it's the club's decision in terms of what they decide to do. And he was adamant that he really wanted me to stay here."
After more impressive performances for Everton during the first half of the 2013/14 campaign, and Manchester United's failure to bring in a left-back during the summer, meant that rumours linking Baines with the Premier League champions resurfaced again this month.
However, the defender remains as committed as ever to the Merseyside club, and recently put pen to paper on a new four-year contract.
"It was flattering to have your old manager to want to take you with him and your current manager to really want to keep you," he added.
"It was an interesting perspective he [Martinez] put on it, and probably settled me a little bit more in terms of putting it to the back of my mind and focus on getting fit and looking forward, and leave it in the club's hands.
"He said to me 'until we decide to accept an offer or not then you've got a consideration, but until that point you can get on with your football and leave it to them'."
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms