Manchester United

Manchester United Transfer News: Does Alexander Buttner Mean No Leighton Baines?

VENLO, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 12:   Alexander Buttner of Vitesse celeraters scoring the first goal of the game during the Eredivisie match between VVV Venlo and Vitesse Arnhem at Seacon Stadium De Koel on April 12, 2012 in Venlo, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIAugust 20, 2012

Manchester United are believed to be on the verge of signing Vitesse Arnhem defender Alexander Buttner—a deal which could spell the end for United's chase of Everton's Leighton Baines over the summer transfer window.

Some media outlets are reporting that a deal is close (per Goal) whilst others have already announced the deal is officially complete (per The Guardian)—the latter says of the transfer that:

Manchester United have bought the left-back Alexander Buttner from Vitesse Arnhem, according to the Dutch club. The fee is undisclosed but is not thought to be more than £3.9m for a player who has never been capped by Holland.

Buttner said: "I'm travelling to Manchester this evening [Sunday] and I'm very delighted that such a big club bought me...."

The 23-year-old was believed to be close to signing with Southampton earlier this summer before a deal fell through with the club, and his acquisition comes as somewhat of a surprise for the Red Devils—not in terms of position, but simply because Buttner is really yet to prove himself in world football.

Having said that, the deal is cost effective, and it does cover a position that United manager Sir Alex Ferguson already stated was an area of concern heading into the new English Premier League season—commenting via The Daily Mirror that:

Left-back is an area which we're paying attention to.... With Fabio [Da Silva] at QPR, we're a little short in that department.

It was widely assumed that Manchester Untied would pick up Everton defender Leighton Baines—one of the best left-backs in the country and probably second only to Ashley Cole in the English Premier League.

However, no deal has come about between the two parties, with Everton believed to be wanting in excess of £17 million for the England international (per Goal).

United then, as a result of this high valuation, have turned to a cheaper alternative for the future in Buttner—a move that could spell the end of their chase for Baines. They now have cover at left-back for Patrice Evra, and whilst the 23-year-old is still somewhat of a raw talent, he will join a wealth of wisdom and experience at Old Trafford, in terms of players and management alike—and is therefore bound to learn and grow at the club.

With time still remaining in the summer transfer window, the Red Devils could well still make a play for Baines—though they have already spent well over £40 million this summer (per Goal) and now have the cover they needed at left-back.

Everton's high valuation has resulted in United signing a much cheaper defender in Buttner, which in turn, has seemingly ended the Red Devils' chase for Leighton Baines over the summer transfer window.

 

Has United ended their chase for Leighton Baines?

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