Tim Howard would 'cry' if Leighton Baines left Everton

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard says he would "probably cry" if the Toffees sold left-back Leighton Baines.

England defender Baines was linked with a move to Manchester United before they signed Alexander Buttner from Vitesse Arnhem.

Now, with the transfer window closing on Friday, Howard is hoping Everton are able to keep hold of Baines.

"If Bainesy left I would probably cry because he's the guy you can always count on," Howard told Football Focus.

Baines, 27, has played 202 times for Everton since signing from Wigan for £6m in August 2007, also earning nine England caps.

Tim Howard and Leighton Baines

Howard & Baines have been team-mates since 2007

"Bainesy has been our best player consistently over the last three or four seasons," said Howard.

"He's going to give you 8 out of 10 every week. That's why Manchester United and others are sniffing around him.

"He somehow creates so much for this team from the left-back position, which is very rare.

"I imagine the chairman and the manager will do everything that is possible to keep him here."

Everton started the season with a 1-0 win against Manchester United at Goodison Park on Monday, and Howard believes the club can thrive if they hold on to their best players.

"We feel like we've got a good group and we can do special things but you can only do that if you keep your top players together," he added.

You can watch the full interview with Tim Howard on Saturday's Football Focus