By Dominic Toner
Everton are in talks with defender Leighton Baines about a new contract, according to a report.
The Guardian claim that the Toffees have been in discussions with the 32-year-old since the summer about a new contract, with his existing deal set to expire next summer.
The report details that Everton are close to agree a new deal which will keep the defender at Goodison Park until 2019.
It is understood that manager Ronald Koeman is keen to keep a player of his experience at the club as he tries to help Everton compete for a European spot.
Baines has been one of Everton’s most consistent performers since he moved to the club in 2007 from Wigan.
The left-back has made a staggering 351 appearances for the Merseyside club, scoring 34 goals and supplying 60 assists.
He has proved to be a reliable defender over the years for the Toffees and also is very useful going forward, possessing a great touch from free-kicks and penalties.
Baines recently regained his place in the starting XI from Bryan Oviedo after returning from injury and is still extremely crucial this season.
He provided a pin-point cross for team-mate Seamus Coleman on Tuesday as he scored an equalising goal against Arsenal.
Everton went on to win that game 2-1 thanks to a late Ashley Williams goal and will now turn their attention to the Merseyside derby with Liverpool, where Baines will know more than most the importance of the contest.
The experienced defender has made 30 senior caps for England during his career, but has been extremely unfortunate to play during the same generation as Premier League great Ashley Cole.
In other Everton transfer news, they are set to pay a midfielder £40,000-a-week more than Romelu Lukaku to sign him in January.