New Everton manager Roberto Martinez is sure that Manchester United’s summer moves for Everton defender Leighton Baines has now ended.
Martinez insists that the £12 million offer from United was their final bid, and there have been no future enquiries since Everton turned it down, despite speculation that United manager David Moyes will come back with an improved bid for the England international.
While speaking about Baines Martinez said: “Before we went to Austria one club officially contacted ourselves with an offer and it was a final offer.
“They put something over and the valuation wasn’t anywhere near the quality of Leighton Baines. That was the end of it but since then there’s been all the speculation, which has been part of what the transfer window is.
“There’s never been another club or anyone else putting in an offer for Leighton. Since then we’ve moved on and we’re continuing to focus on the start of the season.”
Martinez knows that much of the rumours surrounding his team and Manchester United are due to the fact that Moyes knows the Everton players so well after having spent a decade at Goodison Park before taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson at United.
“It’s anyone who performs well – Marouane Fellaini had a terrific season, so did Leighton,” he said. “At the same time so did Phil Jagielka and Tim Howard.
“Then when you’ve got an ex-manager who has first-hand information of that you’re going to get that speculation in the media, but the reality is that there has been nothing apart from the contact really early in the season.
“It’s not just at Everton. At every club, every good performer is going to get linked with a move. That’s part of the modern game. Ten or 15 years ago you didn’t see players wanting to leave Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool.
“You’re talking every top club in European football, even Real Madrid. It’s just the times we’re in when players are quite happy to move around, quite happy to look for the next challenge.
“Maybe it’s the high pressure of the game and it puts them in a position where a new challenge is helpful. I don’t know.
“We’re living in a different football world than we’re used to.”