The BBC is reporting that Roberto Martinez is about to chalk up a major coup for Everton, simply by keeping a star in house.
Leighton Baines, 29, has long been whispered a major target for his former boss David Moyes at Manchester United, but is set to sign a deal to stay at Goodison Park on wages of close to 75,000 pounds per week, according to the BBC head scribe Phil McNulty.
The Red Devils have again been linked with Baines in this transfer window after making two offers for the dynamic England left back over the summer, some causing much consternation for the Toffees. The latter was a combination bid for Baines and Marouane Fellaini that Martinez deemed “derisory and insulting.”
(Fellaini, of course, ended up leaving for Old Trafford at the close of the summer transfer window for 27 and a half million pounds).
Dangerous from dead balls, Baines missed six Premier League matches with a fractured toe suffered in late November. He has three goals and an assist on the season and has posted four or more goals in each of the previous three seasons.
Everton not cashing in and “flipping Baines” would be refreshing, as would the defender’s choice to stay and help Everton pursue European football (well-compensated at that). For a player they acquired from Wigan in 2007 for six million pounds and could flip for several times that fee, staying a Toffee would be a nice sign in a world of transfer tumult.