The Red Devils have been linked to the England international and Everton defender for some time now, and it is believed that for around £16 million, United might finally have landed their man.
According to the Daily Star, Manchester United are closing in on the Everton star and expect a deal to be completed by the end of the week.
It’s understood United will pay an initial £12m for Baines, which could rise by another £4m depending on add-ons.
Toffees boss David Moyes is reluctant to sell Baines, but knows he cannot turn down such a tempting offer or persuade the defender to stay at Goodison Park.
Moyes could now use some of the cash to make a move for Juventus left-back Reto Zeigler, who spent three years at Tottenham, as Baines’ replacement.
Baines would provide some much-needed assistance in a United defense that was lacking at times last season. The return of captain Nemanja Vidic will no doubt help this, and the addition of Baines will do the same. He is thought by many to be a replacement for Patrice Evra at left-back.
The defender was quoted last month by Goal as stating that he would be open to a move to Manchester United should the correct pieces fall into place for both parties:
The United link is flattering. There is no harm in people talking about it because it is a great club...
Everton boss David Moyes is adamant (via the Daily Star) that Marouane Fellani and Baines will not be available cheaply over the transfer window and that the club's current financial standing will not affect the future of his players. Although, with the seemingly inevitable move by Baines, he may well have to sacrifice the defender to keep others at the club.
With Marouane Fellani also believed (via the Guardian) to be a top transfer target for United, selling Baines may well be the only chance he has to keep his star midfielder. He may realize that keeping one is better than losing both over the same summer period.
I'd still hold this one because I'm not sure that any club would let go of what is arguably the best left-back in the country—even one with the financial position of Everton. United are definitely close to a deal; just how close remains to be seen.
What do you think? Will United end up signing Leighton Baines?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter, @dantalintyre
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