Sir Alex Ferguson is determined to land Everton left back Leighton Baines according to the latest reports in the British media. With Fabio Da Silva being sent out on loan, the United squad is short of cover- or competition – for Patrice Evra.
The Manchester Evening News notes:
Sir Alex Ferguson will hope Leighton Baines’ desire to stay in the Premier League will see Manchester United win the race to sign the England left back.
Ferguson has made the 27-year-old one of his top targets this summer, but refuses to meet Everton’s £20m valuation.
United will try to negotiate a price closer to £15m – but interest from Napoli could play right into David Moyes’ hands if he decides to cash in on the player.
The Everton manager is understood not to be under any pressure to sell his stars this summer. But he knows that he will have to generate funds if he wants to strengthen his squad.
Many Reds have been critical of United’s left back over the past two seasons with some claiming his performances have not been up to scratch going back as far as 2010. The question is would an England international like Leighton Baines come to Old Trafford to keep the bench warm and make the odd Carling Cup appearance? It’s highly unlikely, that a player used to playing every single game and one who realises that with Ashley Cole the wrong side of 30, the left back spot for the 2014 could be up for grabs would be happy to play a bit-part.
Despite many Reds sticking the knife in with Evra, I’ve long been of the opinion that he’s still one of the best left backs in the world and the accusations that he’s not good enough defensively are both over exaggerated and ones that could also be levelled at Baines.
Would Sir Alex really spend £15 million on a reserve left back and would an England international warm the bench? I doubt it, although as the right back spot showed last season, sometimes there is room for more than one man to play a big part in one position.