Baines has not played his last game for Everton, insists Martinez

The Spaniard says the Toffees cannot allow their best players to leave if they are going to challenge for honours and is hoping to strengthen his squad in January
Everton boss Roberto Martinez is confident defender Leighton Baines has not played his last game for the club.

The England international is currently sidelined with a fractured toe with the club admitting he could face upto six weeks out of action.

The full-back was a target for Manchester United in the summer, with the champions expected to return for Baines when the January transfer window opens.

However, Martinez is confident his defender will remain with the club, particularly after a strong start to the season that sees them level on points with United in the Premier League.

"Has Baines played his last game for the club?' I don't see it that way at all, especially where we are - not at all," he told reporters.

"If I assess the season so far, we have got less points than our performances deserved. So we continue to play that well, then we are very close to getting a bigger average of points between now and the end of the season.

"If we do that, then we have a great opportunity to achieve our aims. So, in that situation, you can imagine, we would never try to sell players in this January window.

"We are in probably one of the strongest positions we have had for many, many years where we can make pure football decisions on any player."

The Spaniard also says that the club have no financial need to sell players in the transfer window and that instead he will be looking to strengthen his squad.

"I'm really happy with the situation because, as a club, we simply don't need to take the opportunity of the January window to try to balance the books - I can guarantee that is not the case,” he added.

"In January, if we do anything it will be to try and improve the squad - to give a better opportunity to our players to finish the season strongly.

"Everything that is going to happen in January is going to be football-related, and whatever it is, it is going to be good for the squad.

"What is important is, can we control the situation - in terms of 'Do we have to sell to balance the books?' We don't. We are only going to take decisions to strengthen the squad.

"We can't let our best players leave if we want to challenge."