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Martinez 'not concerned' over Baines speculation

ESPN staff
October 18, 2013
Leighton Baines impressed while on international duty for England © PA Photos

Roberto Martinez is adamant he is not fazed by speculation surrounding Everton left back Leighton Baines, and is only concerned about the defender continuing his recent good form.

Baines attracted plenty of interest from Manchester United throughout the summer as former Everton boss David Moyes attempted to persuade the defender to join him at Old Trafford.

However, Martinez stated it is only natural a player such as Baines, who impressed in England's 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley on Tuesday, will gain the attention of elite clubs and that he is an "icon" to the club.

"As a manager, the only thing that concerns me is to see Leighton enjoying his football and being consistent with his performances," Martinez said. "You're not going to stop the rumours and the talk; that comes with a player performing so well. You are always going to get that.

"So I'm not concerned about that. All I want is Leighton to be proud of being an Everton footballer, carry on enjoying his football and carry on performing in the manner that he's been doing. That's the only thing I want.

"Leighton is an icon for us. He's not just a top left back, he's an Evertonian and an icon of the club. It is about what he represents to us so signing a contract or not.

"Edison Cavani signed a contract [for Napoli] and was sold [to Paris St Germain]. Throughout the world of football, footballers have become big assets and that's not going to change."

Baines has 20 months remaining on his contract at Goodison Park.

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