sport

Baines may retire at Everton

Leighton Baines says he would be happy to stay at Everton for the rest of his career and hopes to be part of a successful future for the club.

Baines has been at Goodison Park since signing from Wigan Athletic in 2007 and over the past seven years has consistently been one of the finest left-backs in the Premier League.

Everton fought off interest from Manchester United last summer and, in January, Baines agreed a new four-year contract to stay on Merseyside.

Baines is now 29 and has no plans to leave the club before he retires, but he is still very ambitious and wants Everton to enjoy a golden era.

"I was happy to commit myself and over the next few years now, I will be doing all I can to help the team keep improving," said Baines in the Daily Mirror.

"I may well retire here now. I'm not looking to go anywhere else. I'm trying to enjoy my football and to try and achieve something at this club because it's been starved of success over the last couple of decades.

"I would love to be a part of a team that brings success back."

The likes of Ross Barkley and John Stones have also committed their futures to Everton in recent months and Baines believes Roberto Martinez is building something special.

"He is always introducing new concepts to the things that he has already implemented over the last 12 months," said Baines.

"It is important that we keep our minds open and look to pick things up as quickly as possible.

"That's a reason why the lads have signed new contracts. In the past, one or two players may have looked elsewhere, so that's a statement in itself.

"They were linked with other clubs, but committed themselves to Everton on long-term contracts, and that's as big a boost as anything."