Baines relishes Man Utd link but focuses on Euros

30 May 2012 05:46

Everton defender Leighton Baines admits he is flattered to be linked with a move to Manchester United, but the England international won't let the transfer talk distract him at Euro 2012.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is believed to be considering a bid for Baines, who is with Roy Hodgson's England squad as they prepare for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine next month.

Baines refused to rule out the possibility of joining United if Everton were willing to sell their left-back, but the 27-year-old is adamant he is firmly focused on helping England enjoy a successful campaign at the Euros.

"The United link is flattering. There is no harm in people talking about it because it is a great club," Baines told reporters at England's team hotel in Hertfordshire.

"But I'm at a great club as well, a club that I love. The focus now is all on the tournament. There's not much time to let other things seep in.

"It's about getting your head on this job for the next six weeks and try to do the best you can.

"I'm not letting my focus shift to my future while I am in camp. I'm focused on what I'm doing at the moment."

Asked if it would be hard to leave Everton, he added: "Yes, obviously. You know what it means. I've been there for five years myself but also know first-hand what it means to a lot of people."

Baines is unlikely to feature much for England at the Euros unless fellow left-back Ashley Cole suffers an injury as the Chelsea star is well established as the first-choice for his country.

But, while Baines would prefer not to play second fiddle to Cole, he is happy to learn all he can from one of the world's best left-backs.

"Ash has always been an inspiration. In my position, he has always been my favourite player from when I was a young lad. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him," he said.

"Before I was making my way myself in the game, then it was Roberto Carlos, who was doing the free-kicks and all that stuff.

"But, once you start to look at things as a proper player, then Ash has always been a good role model for any player in that position, whether you are 17 or 18 establishing yourself, or late 20s, he is the best.

"There is always something to learn and you never stop looking for things."

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44