The league may be starting this weekend, but Manchester United aren’t finished with the transfer market, now looking into the possibility of signing Leighton Baines from Everton and give Alex Ferguson another option in left back as he tries to win back the Premier League title.
This isn’t the first left back United have been tracking this off-season, feeling that Patrice Evra has been A) A bit overworked at the position over these past three seasons, with no suitable option to afford some sort of rotation process, as Evra has played 146 matches over the last 3 seasons and B) The French player is 31, and simply isn’t as good as he used to be.
United have already made an enquiry regarding Baines last January and again during this summer, but there was a big difference between Everton’s asking price and what the Red Devils were willing to offer, with the gap being £5 million big. But now that Alex Ferguson finally completed the deal for Robin van Persie, he looks at his squad and sees it’s still isn’t perfect and deep enough for the title run + Champions League adventure. Like he said – We’ll be looking to sign one more player at one more position. That player is Baines.
Last season was probably Baines best since joining Everton in 2007 from Wigan, making the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for the first time in his career and also being Everton’s first player to be part of the selection since Neville Southall, 22 year ago. He scored four goals and added six assists for Everton, helping the financially struggling side to an 8th place finish.
He’s had 9 appearances for the English national side, usually suffering from the fact that Ashley Cole, when healthy, is an immovable object from the England lineup. Baines is probably the best in his position when it comes to attacking, but there 2-3 players in the Premier League that do a better job than him defensively at LB.
Regardless of United’s interest, David Moyes won’t be too pleased to be selling another one of his starters after already losing Tim Cahill to the United States and Jack Rodwell to Manchester City (for £12 million) over the course of the summer, which means the Scottish manager will make it very hard for Manchester United to complete their acquisition plans going into the 2012-2013 season, unless they make him an offer he can’t refuse (at least £15 million).