• Premier League

Martinez guarantees Baines stay

ESPN staff
December 29, 2013
Leighton Baines came off injured in the Merseyside derby last month © Getty Images

Roberto Martinez has said he is 100 percent certain Leighton Baines will remain at Everton until the end of the season.

Left-back Baines, 28, had attracted interest from Manchester United throughout the summer and it is reported that David Moyes remains keen to sign the player in the January window.

However, Everton are currently ahead of United in the table and Martinez said he is concerned solely with improving his squad next month as he seeks to secure a top-four finish this season.

The Sunday Mirror quoted Martinez as saying: "In football you don't work long term, you go window to window, and I can guarantee that Leighton will be here at the end of the season. That is 100 percent.

"That is how you work from window to window - to have a stronger squad than previously.

"Leighton is vital for us in the second half of the season. Bryan Oviedo has been terrific, but we need Leighton and Bryan fit for us if we are going to fight for our football dream."

Martinez has said, however, that he is willing to allow Nikica Jelavic to leave next month as he requires first-team football ahead of the World Cup and has received enquiries for the striker.

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