Roberto Martinez keen to keep Leighton Baines at Everton

Martinez is reportedly close to completing moves for striker Arouna Kone and centre-back Antolin Alcaraz, with whom he worked at previous club Wigan Athletic, and he said that both players would be valuable additions to the Everton squad.

updated: July 04, 2013 09:35 IST
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London: New Everton manager Roberto Martinez illustrated his determination to fend off Manchester United's interest in left-back Leighton Baines on Wednesday by describing the England international as "an icon".

United manager David Moyes, Martinez's predecessor at Goodison Park, had an initial bid for Baines rebuffed last week when Everton rejected an offer of £12 million ($18.3 million, 14.1 million euros) for his services.

The English champions are expected to return with an improved bid for the 28-year-old set-piece specialist, but Martinez says Baines is an important part of Everton's future.

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