Roberto Martinez outlines the importance of securing new deal

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has reiterated his desire to keep Leighton Baines at Goodison Park, reports Sky Sports.

Baines has just 18 months left to run on his current contract at Goodison Park, and has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United.

But recent reports have suggested the 29-year-old is close to signing a new contract with the Toffees, and Martinez is hopeful the England international will commit for the long term.

“You know how important he is for us,” Martinez said, following Everton’s 1-1 draw at West Brom.

“He is in the best moment of his career and has got a real maturity which allows him to think on the pitch and make good decisions.

“He’s not just a player, but a real icon of our football club, so clearly we want him to stay as long as we can.

“There is nothing to announce at the moment, but the way he’s playing, he’s looking to try to progress and develop.

“He is a player that you can imagine everyone at the football club would love to see him enjoying his football here for a longer period.”

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