Transfer news: Roberto Martinez expects Leighton Baines to remain at Everton after Manchester United fail to return with improved bid
Former boss David Moyes had made a £12m offer for the England international, but his successor Martinez admits they are yet to return with an improved bid
Wednesday 14 August 2013
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has insisted that Manchester United have not made a second bid for left-back Leighton Baines and believes that the England international will remain at Goodison Park when the transfer window closes.
Former Toffees boss David Moyes remains interested in taking Baines with him to United, who were interested in the 28-year-old under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, having seen a £12m bid rejected early in the summer.
Both Baines and his team-mate Marouane Fellaini have been heavily linked with a switch to Old Trafford, but Martinez maintains that the Premier League champions have not followed up their interest in the pair and that he believes they will be staying with the Merseyside club.
“Before we went to Austria (for pre-season) one club officially contacted ourselves with an offer and it was a final offer,” Martinez told the Liverpool Echo.
“They put something over and the valuation wasn’t anywhere near the quality of Leighton Baines.
“That was the end of it but since then there’s been all the speculation, which has been part of what the transfer window is.
“There’s never been another club or anyone else putting in an offer for Leighton. Since then we’ve moved on and we’re continuing to focus on the start of the season.”
United had been linked with a £35m double-swoop for the Everton stars, but with the new campaign set to get underway this weekend with Everton travelling to Norwich while United face Swansea in Wales, time is running out on any deal for either player.
Moyes’ pursuit of a central midfielder has been openly publicised, and with the failed signings of Spaniards Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabresgas, a move for Fellaini seems the more likely option should talks restart between the two clubs.
With Patrice Evra, Fabio and Alexander Buttner competing for the left-back position, the addition of Baines would be a luxury that United can afford, while their central midfield concerns remain a priority following the retirement of Paul Scholes and the long-term concerns over Darren Fletcher.
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