Sylvain Distin and Tim Howard have hailed the professionalism of Everton pair Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines amid Manchester United’s interest.
Fellaini and Baines both played in the 0-0 Premier League draw with West Brom on Saturday despite uncertainty over their futures. United had a combined bid of £28 million for the midfielder and left-back rejected last week, and have drawn stinging criticism from Roberto Martinez.
The Everton manager has accused the Premier League champions of being disrespectful in their pursuit of the pair, arguing that the offer made was well below market value.
Martinez also feels David Moyes – who was in charge at Goodison Park for 11 years before leaving to take over at Old Trafford during the summer – breached managerial etiquette by talking publicly about another club’s players.
But Distin and Howard never had any doubts that Fellaini and Baines would remain focused. Centre-back Distin told the Liverpool Echo: “I wasn't expecting anything else. That's how Everton is, and that's the types of players they are. It could be them or anyone else and I'd expect the same professionalism.
“Sometimes you have to remember the difference between what the papers say and what the truth is. People are trying to guess what the players think or feel, but it can be very far from the truth.” .
Goalkeeper Howard added that the work ethic of both players ensured they would not be distracted by United’s approach.
He told the Daily Mirror: “To be fair to Felli and Baines, you look at some other clubs and they have got some idiots. A team becomes interested in them and they don’t turn up for training.
“That’s not these guys. They work every day as if their life depended on it.”