Leighton Baines: Everton to offer new contract to 'loyal' defender

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez is 'pleased' after transfer window

Manager Roberto Martinez says Everton will reward long-serving defender Leighton Baines for his loyalty to the club by offering him a new contract.

Everton rejected two bids from Manchester United for England left-back Baines, 28, during the transfer window.

"Leighton is the most important player for us now and in the future," said Martinez.

He insisted Everton are stronger despite Marouane Fellaini's £27.5m move to United on transfer deadline day.

Manchester United manager David Moyes - the former Everton boss - had a £12m bid rejected in June, and failed with a joint £28m bid for Baines and Fellaini last month.

Baines has made 202 Premier League appearances for Everton since moving from Wigan Athletic in 2007.

Spaniard Martinez added: "He has been an outstanding performer over the years, and now clearly he's at the peak of his career.

"We're going to make sure he feels that warmth from the football club and, from a contractual point of view, exactly the same.

"As in any walk of life, when you do things correctly and work extremely hard you need to be rewarded. Leighton is clearly a vital part of our future and is going to find out about it."

On deadline day, Everton signed midfielder James McCarthy from Wigan for £13m, and Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry and Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku on season-long loan deals.

Martinez added: "In many ways we've got a stronger squad than when we opened the window.

"Overall, once the window closed, we had that blend we are looking for. We lacked in certain areas and we have managed to get the number and the quality we need in those areas."

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