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Sep 2, 2013

Everton firm over Leighton Baines

It's a battle on two fronts. Having already waged war with Manchester United over their pursuit of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, Roberto Martinez has also been fighting a much wider cause.

Everton have insisted that Leighton Baines is not for sale amid reports that Manchester United have made a fresh £15 million bid for the left-back.

• Okwonga: Evra vs. Baines: Who's better?

The Merseysiders, who may lose Marouane Fellaini to the Premier League champions, are adamant that the England international is not available for transfer, sources close to the club told ESPN, and have taken a more hardline position in the final hours of the transfer window.

United had a £12 million offer for the former Wigan defender rejected in June and made a £28 million double bid for Baines and Fellaini in August.

But while talks between the two clubs continue over the midfielder, Everton are adamant they do not want to let Baines leave and that they will not countenance a deal.

The 29-year-old has also joined up with the England squad ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine whereas Fellaini, who has been called up by Belgium, is not linking up with his national team until later in the week, meaning it would be easier for him to complete a transfer.

Everton are also looking for a replacement for Fellaini, having bid for Wigan’s James McCarthy and shown interest in Porto’s Fernando.

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