Everton boss Roberto Martinez has said that England international Leighton Baines has not told him that he would like to join Manchester United, but says should he leave Everton have plans in place.
With Manchester United interested in both Baines and midfielder Marouane Fellaini the Everton boss has lined up Wigan midfielder James McCarthy as a possible replacement for the Belgium Fellaini but still needs to find a left-back to replace Baines before the transfer window closes on Monday night.
He said: “Has Leighton ever said he wants to go to United? No. But whatever the players say in a different situation or environment could change.”
“All I can tell you is that Leighton is an Evertonian and very thankful for the opportunity Everton gave him. And if he has a club like Manchester United interested in him, it’s a compliment.
“You have to have contingency plans. Believe me, the way you work in the transfer market is to always think about the unthinkable.
“We are working in a way in which you always need to have things in place. That’s working within the rules of the transfer window, so we always do that.
“Once the window closes, we are going to look into all of the players in the squad and see where their contracts are up to, and then individually we will look to address that.
“It would be wrong to do that now while the transfer window is still open. That would just create even more instability.”
Speaking about McCarthy, he added: “I’ve had conversations but not in a formal way. I don’t want to be disrespectful. He is a Wigan player and I won’t speak publicly about something.
“But it’s an open secret that I am a big admirer of him.”
“You have to have contingency plans. Believe me, the way you work in the transfer market is to always think about the unthinkable.”