BY CHRIS MCNULTY
DESPITE having until the summer of 2018 to run on his contract at Everton, Seamus Coleman looks set to be offered a bumper new deal by manager Roberto Martinez.
With Manchester United and Arsenal reported to be lurking in the bushes to table a bid for the Killybegs man, Everton are keen to stave off interest in the Irish international, who has been in exceptional form this season.
A year ago, Coleman was rewarded with a five-and-a-half year deal by then manager David Moyes, now at United and an admirer of the talents of a player he signed from Sligo Rovers for only £60,000 five years ago.
Everton are aiming to send out a message that their best players are not for sale and could make a statement with a big offer to Coleman.
“We have got a few issues and a few players that we want to sit down with,” said Martinez.
“It will happen after the transfer window. Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley have been performing really, really well. The length of the contract or the type of deal, when players perform well, when they deserve it, as a club we are quite active in trying to be on top of those aspects.”
Of Coleman, Martinez said: “His role in the team is growing, he is getting more important. He is happy at Everton and has a long-term contract, but I always said that players that do well and perform, it is my intention to sit down and reassess.
“He deserves a reward, he has been terrific. He has created at least two good opportunities in every game and has been getting better in taking those chances and is getting better. He is a young man but the sky is the limit.”
Coleman sat out Saturday’s 4-0 win over Stevenage in the FA Cup because of a hamstring injury sustained in last Monday’s 1-1 draw at West Brom. Everton’s medical team concluded that he had suffered ‘soft tissue damage’ and the Toffees are hopeful that the flying right-back could be fit enough to take his place in tomorrow night’s Merseyside derby with Liverpool at Anfield, a game that sees Everton with a chance of leapfrogging their fierce city rivals.
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