Transfer News Update – Everton have reportedly turned down a bid from Manchester United for their left-back Leighton Baines.
The 28-year-old left-back has been linked with United since last summer. The Englishman has arguably been the best left-back in the Premier League over the last two seasons. He has brought in fantastic consistency to his game and apart from being defensively solid he has been one of the most influential players for the Merseyside club in attack as well. Statistically, Baines has made 3.1 key passes per game, which was fifth highest among the top five leagues in Europe – in terms of opportunity created from open play, he is second (119) only to Mathieu Valbuena of Marseille. These are some impressive statistics for a left-back. Baines also has fantastic abilities from set-pieces and has scored some stunning goals from free kicks.
Sky Sports and various other media out-lets reported that Manchester United have failed with an initial bid of £12m to land the left-back, but they are also expected to be back with an improved offer. United’s interest in Baines might also indicate that the future of French international Patrice Evra is in doubt. It is unlikely that United would want to sign Baines as a back-up option if Evra is set to stay next season. The 32-year-old has been linked with a big spenders Monaco this summer. Manchester United have Buttner and Fabio, who was on loan to QPR last season, as the only possible replacements in the squad if Evra departs, both of whom are fairly inexperienced.
United it seems are confident of landing Baines as they now have the former Everton manager David Moyes at the helm. But the man who replaced him Goodison Park, Roberto Martinez, is eager to hold onto his prized asset and is set to offer him a new contract to secure his long-term future at the club. Baines for his part has also expressed his desire to stay at the Merseyside club and work under new manager Roberto Martinez.
Interestingly though Everton have been linked with Granada left-back Guilherme Siqueira recently – Which indicates that Martinez might already have a back-up plan in place, if United comes back with an offer big enough to convince them. For Baines, at the age of 28, this might be his last chance to make a big move in his career.