Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Everton want to keep Leighton Baines at the club after the defender announced his retirement.
Baines came on for his final appearance on the last day of the season, but it wasn’t a happy ending, as Everton lost 3-1 to Bournemouth. It means the Toffees finish 12th.
It has been a mixed season for Everton, but Ancelotti – who took over midway through – is confident of improvements next time around.
“It is a performance that we could expect, it was the last game of the season and the motivation was not so strong,” he said. “We are not happy, but we have to look forward.
“The players need rest, it was a busy season and we will come back with more ambition.
“Sometimes the motivation makes the difference on the pitch. Moise Kean did well, he is young and has to improve but it is important that he could score.
“We have to be focused, we have time to prepare for the next season. We will work hard to improve the squad. The idea is clear.”
Ancelotti then revealed that Everton have a plan in place to keep Baines in an off-field role. The left-back has been at the club since 2007.
“Leighton Baines has taken this decision to stop playing, every Evertonian must be grateful to him, he is a fantastic example and had a great career,” Ancelotti added.
“We want to keep him at the club, his knowledge is really important.”