Manchester United Transfer News: Alternative Targets to Leighton Baines

Michael Wade@michaelwade_Analyst IIIJanuary 16, 2014

Leighton Baines has been one of Everton's top performers for a number of years.
Leighton Baines has been one of Everton's top performers for a number of years.Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Manchester United's hopes of signing Leighton Baines from Everton have been dealt a strong blow with the news that he is likely to sign a new contract with the Toffees.

As reported by ESPN, England international Baines will extend his current deal with Everton:

Left-back Baines, 29, is increasingly likely to sign a lengthy extension to his current contract, which is set to expire in June 2015.

Everton - who are also keen to extend midfielder Ross Barkley's contract beyond 2016 -have been in talks with Baines for several months, and are optimistic they can agree a deal, sources have told ESPN.

That news was also confirmed by football journalist Duncan Castles, who tweeted:

That leaves manager David Moyes with little time to rethink his options when signing a new left-back. So here are three other candidates capable of filling the role.

Ashley Cole has not been a regular at Chelsea this season.
Ashley Cole has not been a regular at Chelsea this season.Julian Finney/Getty Images

Ashley Cole

An unlikely option given his age, 33-year-old Cole's future at Chelsea remains in doubt, as reported by Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph, and he would be available for a small fee.

On a short-term contract, Cole could bring stability to the position and has the experience, having won everything with Chelsea, to slot straight into the United side.

This would probably only be a last resort, since holding onto Patrice Evra for another season would be preferable.

Luke Shaw has established himself at Southampton this year.
Luke Shaw has established himself at Southampton this year.Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Luke Shaw

Likely more expensive than Cole, the Southampton youngster could potentially become United's left-back for the next decade and become a watershed signing for the Moyes era.

United have failed to attract the top names since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure, but if they were to beat Chelsea and Manchester City to the signature of the in-demand 18-year-old, per Danny Griffiths in the Metro, it could galvanise them and enhance Moyes' reputation.

An archetypal modern full-back, Shaw is energetic and capable of overlapping on the wing to assist attacks as well as being comfortable in dead-ball situations.

Fabio Coentrao

Out of favour at Real Madrid, a loan deal to take Coentrao to Old Trafford has been a possibility for a while, via Simon Rice in the Independent.

The Portugal international is versatile and capable of playing higher up on the left wing or in a defensive midfield position, which would give added depth to United's squad.

The fact that a permanent transfer hasn't been spoken about suggests that Moyes is not fully convinced by Coentrao and only views him as a stop-gap.

Coentrao may not be the long-term solution that United need at this moment in order to re-establish themselves among the top teams in the Premier League.