Manchester United have reportedly turned their attention towards Southampton left-back Luke Shaw after failing with their attempt to sign Leighton Baines.
Baines 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 made 3.1 key passes per game, which was fifth highest among the top five leagues in Europe last season – 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.
United were lining up Baines as the long term successor for Patric Evra, although it seems unlikely that Baines will play second fiddle to the Frenchman. Manchester United have Buttner and Fabio, who was on loan to QPR last season, as the possible replacements in the squad, but both of them are fairly inexperienced.
Manchester United have failed with an opening bid of £30m for Everton due Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. The Merseyside club have termed the offer as “derisory and insulting”. 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. The Everton manager has recently labelled United chase for Baines as a ‘waste of time’. Baines for his part has also expressed his desire to stay at the Merseyside club and work under new manager Roberto Martinez. Moreover, Everton’s unwillingness to negotiate with Manchester United is partly due to the fact that they are still offended by way in which the reigning Premier League champions appointed David Moyes as Sir Alex’s successor behind their back.
Reports suggest that United will return with an improved offer for the duo and this time they are preparing a bid of £35million. But it seems unlikely that Everton will entertain this offer. The Red Devils also have a plan B in place, in case Everton refuses to negotiate, and Southampton left back Luke Shaw is believed to be on their radar.
The 18-year-old is highly rated and has drawn praises from all corners. The £10 million rated youngster has only recent signed a contract extension with Southampton and they could be unwilling to part ways him at such a young age, unless United are prepared to pay over the top.