Manchester United Transfer News: Red Devils Must Make a Move for Leighton Baines

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Everton player Leighton Baines celebrates the first goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on September 17, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Leighton Baines needs to be Old Trafford by the time the January transfer window comes to an end.

Manchester United might be seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table, but their back four has been anything but solid. As a result, the club is reportedly looking to purchase Everton left-back Leighton Baines (via the Daily Mail).

The Red Devils have given up 28 goals through 20 games this season. That's only four fewer than they surrendered during the entirety of last year.

United hasn't been helped by the fact that Nemanja Vidic has only made six appearances in the Premier League so far. Now that he's back, the club will be much more stable at the back.

Midfield has been a concern as well and should likewise be addressed by Sir Alex Ferguson, but addressing the defense is a smart move.

In addition Baines would supplant the existing left-back, Patrice Evra, who has arguably been one of the weakest links on the club.

Evra has been great getting forward this year. He's scored four goals already this season. But his heading forward has come at the expense of his defending.

At 31 years old, the Frenchman isn't able to track back as he once was. Evra has been on a slow decline. This year that drop in form has been readily apparent.

Baines may be 28 years old, but he's been much more stable defensively over the past few seasons.

Alexander Buttner is the future for United at left-back, so it's not necessary that the club target a player in his mid-20s. Baines could give United two or three good seasons, then Buttner would take over the full-time duties.

Evra has also been the talk of a move to Paris Saint-Germain. Left-back has also been a problem spot for the French club. As a result there's been speculation that Ashley Cole was on his way to Paris.

Instead, the Daily Mail reported that Evra has become the main target. Although he hasn't angled for the move, Evra is certainly open to it.

According to The Independent, he said:

For now, there is nothing to do. I have a year left on my contract. I am at Manchester United. I am captain and I am happy.

But it's always a pleasure to be wanted by a club such as Paris St Germain, especially as I am Parisian.

I have never hidden my love of Paris, even though Monaco is still 'my' team. It has always pained me to see the club not win the title or qualify for the Champions League.

United haven't built an unassailable lead. The Red Devils' defensive problems could lead to their downfall. Signing Baines would do much to shore up the left-back position.