Man United set to bid £8 million for Everton full-back Baines
Manchester United are reportedly considering an approach for Everton star Leighton Baines after Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he is in the market for a left-back.
Ferguson offered Reserve team pair Robbie Brady and Tyler Blackett the chance to establish themselves as Patrice Evra’s understudy during pre-season, but the United boss has opted against promoting either youngster to the senior squad and will instead look to recruit.
Ferguson has confirmed he is eager to bolster his squad’s left-sided defensive options with Evra currently the only recognised left-back on the books following Fabio Da Silva’s loan move to Queens Park Rangers.
Even prior to the Brazilian’s season-long switch, Evra was very much Ferguson’s primary option at left-back and the Frenchman rarely received a rest; making 47 appearances last season.
An injury to Evra, who turns 31 in August, and his advancing age is a concern for Ferguson, who will be left short of cover unless he signs a full-back.
“Left-back is an area which we’re paying attention to in that sense that Patrice, in the last five years, has played an average of 45 to 50 games,” said Ferguson.
“Patrice will be all right. He’s shown he has a resilience about him and has a great attitude to playing, but he is 31 next month.”
United have been linked in the media with Everton’s Baines since last summer and following Ferguson’s admission, it is only natural the speculation has surfaced once again.
However, it would seem to be a natural choice with Baines considered one of the most reliable and consistent full-backs in the Premier League.
Various reports in the British press claim Ferguson will make an initial offer of £8 million for the 27-year-old, although the club have also drawn up a shortlist of potential candidates should Everton boss David Moyes refuse to do business.
While Baines is valued by Everton at around £12 million, the fact the England international has three years remaining on his contract means Moyes is under no immediate pressure to sell.