Manchester United Transfer News: Club Should Abort Leighton Baines Bid
Before this whole mess gets even uglier, David Moyes should just shift his focus away from Leighton Baines.
By now, everybody knows Manchester United made a rather foolish £28 million combined bid for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines (h/t Phil McNulty of BBC Sport). The Daily Mirror's Alan Nixon reported United will up the bid to £35 million.
Moyes is trying to do everything he can to unsettle the two players and force through a move. According to the Daily Mail's Ian Ladyman, the United manager said:
I always felt the right thing to do was what was right for the players.
I respect Everton greatly and I don’t want to do anything that would in turn affect them.
Of course, taking their players would affect them but I am certainly only doing what I have to do in my job.
There's the basic hypocrisy of Moyes making those comments while simultaneously preventing Wayne Rooney from going to Chelsea. That's enough to make you look sideways about the club's pursuit of Everton's stars.
Perhaps the bigger issue is why exactly Manchester United need Leighton Baines so badly?
He's undoubtedly one of the best left-backs in the Premier League and has plenty of experience under Moyes to know what would be expected of him at Old Trafford. He's great going forward and deadly on set pieces. Baines would make any club better.
What needs to be determined is if he would make United so much better that everyone could look past all the reasons this deal doesn't make sense.
At 28 years old, the Red Devils would be paying an awful lot of money for a player who's got about two or three years left before he begins to decline. Baines is good, but he's not the kind of player where those years will be worth it in the end.
Should David Moyes continue pursuing Leighton Baines?
Patrice Evra has plenty of problems, especially when it comes to actually defending. But the 32-year-old is not preventing United from reclaiming their throne atop European football. Evra is still capable of playing 30-plus games and giving United a solid presence on the left side.
The club also has Alexander Buttner and Fabio waiting in the wings. They've made plenty of mistakes, but you see that with any young player, especially full-backs who are learning how to balance the attack with defending.
While they're not world-class left-backs, either would be a perfectly suitable option for Moyes going forward.
Overall, left-back isn't a huge area of concern for United. You didn't watch Manchester United last season and think a left-back would have cured all their woes.
What is a concern is the midfield. The club would be much better off targeting a playmaker like Mesut Ozil and a defensive, box-to-box midfielder like Fellaini for the remainder of this summer's transfer market.
There's not a lot of time to get business done. You've got a little over a week to go until September 2, and then you have to wait until January to get any new players. Moyes shouldn't be spending time on deals that aren't going to demonstrably help the club.
Everton might also be more willing to part with Fellaini if they know Baines isn't going as well. It's hard enough to get a club's best player. When you try and buy their two best players, you're bound to run into problems.
In the end, it's hard to see where a deal for Baines is worth it. There was a time when he would have been a great signing for the club. That time has passed, though, and Manchester United should look to strengthen more critical areas of the pitch.
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