Leighton Baines: Everton Star Would Push Man U Over the Top

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 13: Leighton Baines of Everton in action with Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on May 13, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Defender Leighton Baines is the key to Manchester United's reemergence as the top team in the EPL.

After a bitter loss to Manchester City at the end of last season, Manchester United is desperate to get back to their winning ways. They have already added Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell earlier this summer, and adding Baines would give them the edge they need going forward. 

According to the Daily Star, the Red Devils are closing in on a £16 million transfer deal that would land them the Everton Star. 

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.

The reason that Manchester United are making such a strong push for Baines should be clear: They need someone to marshall the troops on the back end. They struggled at times last year to keep their opponents away from the goal, and Baines is one of the best defenders in Europe.

At 27, Baines still has a ton of life left in his legs, too. He is not going to light up the stat sheet with goals and assists as a defender, but it's all the little things he does that don't get tracked by scorekeepers that will make all the difference in the world.

Baines is the master of the intangibles, and adding him is just what Man United needs to get back to winning the EPL championship.