Everton manager Sam Allardyce has refuted claims that the Toffees were in for new West Ham arrival Patrice Evra, the Liverpool Echo reports.

The Hammers confirmed the signing of Evra on Wednesday, with the experienced Frenchman joining on a free transfer following his release from Marseille in November.

Everton were keen to recruit a left-sided defender in the January transfer window but were only able to land Eliaquim Mangala, naturally a centre-back, from Manchester City on loan.

Therefore, it was claimed that Everton were also keen on Evra but the player preferred a move to London, which therefore swayed him in favour of joining West Ham.

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Allardyce, though, has rubbished these claims and has insisted that his side were never in for former Manchester United defender Evra.

No, as we have Leighton Baines coming back very shortly. Leighton has similar experience to Patrice, although Patrice is a little bit older. I didn’t think that would be necessary at this stage of the season. We tried to sign a left-back throughout the whole of January but were unable to do so.

The Toffees boss delivered a promising update on the recovery of Baines, who is set to come back into the fold as the club’s starting left-back when he returns to full fitness.

Leighton is not on the field yet in training but is in the full mode for recovery. He is running. We would expect by the time we play Watford he will certainly be clear of the injuries he’s had.

The injury situation is actually pretty good, the best since I’ve been here.