Manchester United must make sure they don't overspend on transfers this summer.
To this point, the club has been careful to avoid this problem. According to a recent report from Chris Bascombe of The Telegraph, Everton are asking for £20 million for defender Leighton Baines—the Red Devils originally only offered £10 million.
The Premier League champions had an offer in the region of £10m rejected for Baines last month and there has been no further contact between David Moyes's present and past clubs. United, however, are believed to be close to making an improved offer for the England international, albeit one that remains way below Everton's £20m valuation of the 28-year-old.
While the new bid might still not be enough to bring the left-back to Old Trafford, it is smart to stay away from the full listing price.
At £20 million, the squad should be getting a huge impact player representing a big upgrade over the current player at the position. Although Baines had a solid 2012-13 season with five goals and five assists to go with strong defense, that major upgrade simply is not there.
Patrice Evra had a few down seasons, but last year was a renaissance for the veteran. The 32-year-old defender was just as strong offensively as the Everton man with four goals and five assists while also displaying more consistency on his passes.
According to WhoScored, Baines averaged a rating of 7.39 in EPL matches last year. On the other hand, Evra was not far behind at 7.29. Each of which ranked among the best in the league.
How much should Manchester United pay for Leighton Baines?
Considering the Manchester United defender also has much more experience in big matches—including Champions League games and many more appearances for his national team—he is better suited to help the club compete for trophies next year.
Of course, a move of this sort would make sense if the incoming player was a younger prospect who could take over for a long time. However, the 28-year-old Baines has likely hit his peak and will soon begin a decline.
Still, the biggest indicator for the defender's value is the actions by David Moyes. The former Everton manager was hired to lead Manchester United and is looking for anyone who can improve the club.
If Moyes truly believed that Baines was worth the lofty price tag, he would have made a bid immediately. However, he knows exactly what the player is worth after coaching him for the past few years.
Baines clearly has talent and could help United if he is brought in for cheap. However, it is important not to break the bank for someone who will be a mild upgrade at best.
Considering the club still is looking for other ways to improve for next season and in the future, that money should be saved for the player that will truly make an impact.
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