Premier League: Everton defender Leighton Baines signs new deal
Everton defender Leighton Baines has signed a new four-year contract with the club.
Last Updated: 27/01/14 4:32pm
The England left-back had been linked with a move away from Goodison Park, with Manchester United seeing two bids for Baines turned down last summer.
But he has committed his future to Everton to boost manager Roberto Martinez's chances of securing silverware and a Champions League place for his side.
"I can give you good news, Leighton Baines has signed a new contract for the next four years," Martinez said in his media conference ahead of Tuesday's Merseyside derby with Liverpool at Anfield.
"To be able to secure Leighton's best years at Everton means a lot, especially in this January (transfer) window where we are talking about having a strong squad going into the second half of the season.
"We are all excited that Leighton will be able to have a long-term future with the club and we are all looking forward to the second half of the season having his experience.
"It is such a specialised position it is a great boost internally but I know fans will be delighted because Leighton is more than a footballer at the club.
"You look how important he is with the daily standards, the influence he has with the younger players.
"I am just looking what Leighton can do in the next four years in the dressing room and it is going to be as good as it gets."
Martinez admitted he was delighted Everton were able to hold off the approaches of United as they look to build on a positive start to the season.
"It represents a strong intent of trying to progress and get stronger and Leighton will bring that on the football pitch," he added.
"He has been performing as one the best left-backs in European football and the best is yet to come.
"To have Leighton with the focus and tranquility to be at Everton for the long term is an incredible boost."