New boss hails ‘iconic’ defender.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has reiterated his desire to fend off all interest for star defender Leighton Baines and has highlighted his importance to the club, Sky Sports reports.
Manchester United have already failed with one bid for the England international and they are expected to come back with another improved offer shortly, and Moyes’ successor has made it clear that he hopes to keep a hold of the 28-year-old if he is to have a successful season at Goodison Park.
“I think Leighton is more than a player, he is an icon,” Martinez told the Everton website.
“He represents a lot about our football club and I am really, really excited about Leighton. This is a big season for him and for us as a club.
“When you are the left-back of this football club, and the level that he has been reaching over the last few years consistently, it shows me that he is the best left-back in the country. I can’t wait to start working with him.”
Baines made 44 appearances across all competitions last season, scoring seven goals in the process. He has also recently began to replace Ashley Cole as England’s first choice left back and is in good stead to be ahead of the Chelsea man in time for next summer’s World Cup, should England make it there.