EFC plan to open talks with defender
Everton are keen to open talks with Leighton Baines over an improved contract as they look to stave off any renewed interest in the defender from Manchester United.
United failed in their attempts to prise Baines away from Goodison in the recent transfer window having seen a final bid of £15million flatly rejected.
Old Trafford manager David Moyes will keep tabs on the left-back’s situation with a view to launching a possible new approach for the England international in January.
Everton, though, want to reward Baines for his loyalty in contrast to Marouane Fellaini forcing through a £27.5m move to United on Monday by handing in a transfer request.
And Goodison officials have made a new deal a priority for the 28-year-old, who now has less than two years remaining on his current agreement.
Meanwhile, new signing James McCarthy has dismissed suggestions he will receive any preferential treatment from Everton manager Roberto Martinez – and is unconcerned by a weighty price tag.
McCarthy became the second-most costly player in the club’s history after completing a deadline-busting move from Wigan Athletic late on Monday evening.
The 22-year-old midfielder could ultimately cost Everton £15m, second only to the eventual £17.5m handed to Standard Liege on the now-departed Fellaini.
It is the second time Martinez has bought McCarthy, having taken him from Hamilton Academical to Wigan as a teenager in 2009.
But the Republic of Ireland international admits he faces a fight to earn a place in central midfield with Darron Gibson, Leon Osman, Ross Barkley and on-loan Gareth Barry.
“The manager has told me I need to come here and work hard,” said McCarthy. “I’m not guaranteed to go straight into the team and rightly so, I just have to give it my best shot.
“I played under the manager for four years, it was four brilliant years. He developed me as a player and hopefully I can keep progressing.
“It’ll take time to establish myself and get in to the team, I’ll need to work hard on and off the pitch and hopefully I will get into the team as soon as I can.
“I know a few of the boys such as Seamus, Darren Gibson and Shane Duffy from playing with Ireland, and I’ve played against Everton a few times now.
“As a young kid you dream of going to big stadiums like Goodison and I can’t wait to get out there in an Everton shirt.”
Glasgow-born McCarthy’s transfer makes him the most expensive-ever Scottish-born footballer.
The player, though, is unconcerned by the pressure of living up to his tag.
“Obviously you see big transfers happening all the time,” said McCarthy. “You just have to put up with it (the big fee) but to be honest, I believe in my own ability and I’ll give it my best shot.
“I have had a few people on my case about it, and it's one I'm going to need to take in my stride.
“I think as a club Everton has everything going for it. We are pushing top-six at least this season.”
McCarthy will wear the number 16 shirt for Everton while fellow new boy Barry has been handed the number 18 jersey. Romelu Lukaku will determine his next week on his return from international duty with Belgium.