Dec 122014

Everton FC are confident they can tie down highly-rated defender Luke Garbutt to a new deal in the summer.

The England U-21 international’s current contract expires in July, and after a string of impressive performances for the first team he has no shortage of admirers away from Goodison.

However, Roberto Martinez is not panicking at the prospect of the 21-year-old being out of contract in the summer, with players under the age of 24 unable to leave on a free transfer if they are offered fresh terms by their club.

And Martinez does not envisage that scenario being an issue anyway, as the ECHO understands that the Catalan has every intention of keeping the left-back at the club.

Garbutt shone in the Europa League dead rubber tie against Krasnodar on Thursday, and there is a belief at Goodison that he can push Leighton Baines for his place in the coming seasons.

The Blues are also content that Garbutt is settled on Merseyside and wants to remain playing for a manager who has already deployed him three times this season.

Luke Garbutt in pictures, on & off the pitch


Everton FC 0 Krasnodar 1: Rate the players

“Tyias Browning and Luke Garbutt stepped up on Thursday and are ready to fight for their places in the first team,”said Martinez.

“I’m very pleased.

“The squad needs to be big. We want to be in Europe and the FA Cup as long as we can and need to get stronger in the league going into the second part.

“The more players we can have back the better.”

“We are building towards our best level.”

Meanwhile, Martinez knows the Toffees will have their work cut out as they look to climb the table with a win over QPR on Monday.

“We need to be at our best,” he added. “We’re at home and we’re desperate to get back to positive results after the frustration we had for different reasons against Manchester City.

“QPR are enjoying their football right now.

“Harry Redknapp is a phenomenal manager and has great experience. It will be tough.”

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