Leighton Baines is due to discuss his Everton future with Roberto Martinez today with the new Everton manager in no mood to let his prized asset depart.
Senior Everton staff are determined to keep Baines at Goodison Park and are prepared to make Baines the highest paid player at the club in recognition of his impressive displays, particularly during the last three seasons, where he has established himself as an England international and arguably the best full back in the Premier League. The offer of a new contract is not in direct response to the interest shown by David Moyes and Manchester United, with talks already planned for this summer between Everton and Baines’ management team.
It promises to be a busy few days at Finch Farm, with Dave Whelan yesterday pre-empting an official announcement over the arrival of Roberto Martinez’ backroom team. Graeme Jones will become assistant manager, replacing Steve Round who departed to Manchester United on Monday, Kevin Reeves is a trusted ally for Martinez and will join as chief scout with former Wigan and Swansea goalkeeping coach Inaki Bergara replacing Chris Woods. No further compensation has been paid for the trio, with the package of £1.5m agreed with Wigan for the release of Martinez also covering his backroom staff.
Everton have also been busy in the transfer market with deals close to completion for Arouna Kone for £5 million and Antolin Alcaraz on a free transfer. Rumours were rife yesterday of a third signing, with strong links continuing to centre on the arrival of former Celtic winger Aiden McGeady from Spartak Moscow.