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No plans to offer new Everton FC contract to Leighton Baines

by Richard Buxton. Published Thu 24 Oct 2013 09:54, last updated: 24/10/13

Roberto Martinez insists there are currently no plans to offer Leighton Baines a new Everton deal.

Baines has continued to flourish for both club and country this season and the England international was the subject of interest from former manager David Moyes as Manchester United saw a series of approaches rebuffed by the Blues in the previous transfer window.

Everton under-21 coach Alan Stubbs claimed last month that Baines had wanted to join United last summer while Martinez had pledged to reward the 28-year-old, whose current deal at Goodison Park expires in 2015, with an improved contract.

But today the Spaniard, whose side travel to Aston Villa this weekend, has taken a more relaxed stance on the in-form left-back's future.

He said: "There's no train of thought on (a new deal) at the moment. All that matters is that Leighton is enjoying his football and that's the only thing that I'm focusing on.

"I think all his performance stats this season have improved from the last campaign and that, for me, is very important - someone at his age of maturity starting to enjoy his football in a great manner and is developing his performance outcome in the way that he's done early on in the season. That's very significant and that's what matters to me," he added.

"Everything else is just trying to find an issue from the outside and see what we can comment on apart from supporting a player that has been terrific for the national team in the two games that he's started and the level of form that he's shown this season."

Martinez also insists that plans to make on-loan Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry, a free agent in the summer, a permanent signing have not entered into his thoughts at this time.

"It's not the right time. I wouldn't put that in his mindset at the moment," he said.

"All I want him to focus is to keep enjoying his football, keep pushing to start at the weekend and develop that competition behind the scenes. That's the only thing that matters at the moment."

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