Baines signs four-year deal

, 27 January, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Star left back commits to the Blues

Everton's stalwart defender, Leighton Baines has agreed a new four-year deal that could keep him with the club until 2018. The news comes before the end of another transfer window in which he was again linked with a move to Manchester United, but his new contract should put paid to such speculation once and for all.

Baines was the subject of at least two concrete offers from Old Trafford last summer — believed to be around 12m and 15m respectively — and there were fears that, as he entered the last 18 months of his previous deal, he could be tempted away with Everton receiving below market rate for the England international.

"From every angle that you look at it, it is an incredible boost," Roberto Martinez this morning at a press conference at Finch Farm. "He is one of the best left-backs in European football and has the World Cup around the corner. I'm looking at what Leighton can do and it is huge."

"His best is yet to come," the Spaniard continued. "To be able to secure Leighton's best years at Everton means a lot, especially in this January window where we are talking about having a strong squad going into the second half of the season.

"That is an important moment for us. You are talking about January signings and bringing players into the club but no-one will be bigger than having Leighton Baines focusing on being as good as he can be for Everton in the best years of his career."

Baines has racked up more than 260 appearances for Everton since arriving in a 6m deal from Wigan Athletic. He had to bide his time behind Joleon Lescott, an auxiliary left back preferred initially by Martinez's predecessor, David Moyes, but seized his chance once the opportunity of regular first-team football arrived and is now widely regarded as the best player in that position in the Premier League.

Quotes or other material sourced from BBC Sport

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