Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/29/13
Everton remain confident that full-back Leighton Baines will remain at Goodison Park beyond the end of the transfer window despite the England international making clear his interest in moving to Manchester United. Baines told new manager Roberto Martínez that he would like to move to Old Trafford if a deal could be agreed with his former manager David Moyes but he has stopped short of requesting a transfer. The initial key conversations regarding his future are understood to have taken place shortly after Martínez’s appointment in July at the start of pre-season and before Manchester United’s most recent double bid of £26 million involving Marouane Fellaini was lodged and angrily rejected. Everton insisted that Baines has never asked to leave nor shown any inclination to push for an exit from the Merseyside club despite harbouring ambitions to play in the Champions League and compete for the title. He has always seen United’s ­interest as representing a possible last chance to fulfil such goals but that is balanced by his respect for his current club and unwillingness to seek proactively a transfer. Martínez has praised the 28-year-old for the professionalism he has shown amid United’s pursuit. Everton understood Baines’s inevitable interest in joining the champions was conditional on an agreement that was mutually beneficial and allowed him to move on his own terms. There is certain intrigue in the ­timing of the revelations of a private conversation between Martínez and Baines. With the transfer window closing next week it could be seen as a last desperate attempt to trigger a fresh bid from United. However Everton’s hard-line stance has never changed as they value Baines at about £18million. United’s first bid was £9 million and they followed this with £12million. That prompted a furious reaction from the Everton board with the tensions between the clubs intensifying as a consequence of the timing of the offer 48 hours before the start of the Premier League season.
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