Everton have offered Leighton Baines a one-year contract extension with the manager, Carlo Ancelotti, keen to extend the veteran’s stay at Goodison Park into a 14th season.
Baines is one of four senior Everton players out of contract at the end of the month and the only one offered new terms so far. The others are Oumar Niasse, Cuco Martina and Maarten Stekelenburg. All three were expected to be released on 30 June but that is no longer a foregone conclusion because of a growing injury list at the club.
Ancelotti is decided on Baines’s future, however, and hopes the left-back, who turns 36 in December, will soon commit to another season at Goodison. The former England international has made 417 appearances for Everton since his £6m transfer from Wigan in 2007 and, although he has featured only six times this season, he provides valuable cover for Lucas Digne plus important influence in the dressing room.
Premier League clubs have until 23 June to inform players approaching the end of their contracts whether they will be offered short-term deals for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign. Everton have not approached Niasse, Martina or Stekelenburg but that position could change, at least in respect of the Dutch duo.
Ancelotti has lost Yerry Mina and Jean-Philippe Gbamin to injury since Everton resumed training at Finch Farm, while Morgan Schneiderlin remains several weeks away from returning from a knee operation he underwent in February. Cenk Tosun is also recuperating from a cruciate injury sustained while on loan at Crystal Palace.
Mina will miss the restart with a torn thigh muscle and his absence leaves only two central defenders – Mason Holgate and Michael Keane – for the final nine games. Everton would need special dispensation to re-register Lewis Gibson as the 19-year-old was loaned to Fleetwood until 30 June, and the club are awaiting confirmation from Monaco on whether they can extend Djibril Sidibé’s loan.