Manchester United Transfer News: Did Leighton Baines Want a Move to United?

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IISeptember 6, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20:  Leighton Baines of Everton reacts to a missed chance during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on August 20, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Everton defender Leighton Baines was reportedly the subject of great interest from Manchester United over the summer transfer window, although no move transpired between the two parties.

The England international was touted as a potential replacement for Patrice Evra—a move that was in the making all summer before United signed Alexander Buttner for that position, which subsequently meant that the move was not a viable option.

But according to Baines, the Red Devils' lack of summer interest did puzzle him, as he was potentially interested in a move to Old Trafford had they come asking for him.

Per Metro:

People are asking me [about a move to United] and yet I didn't know anything. It was getting mentioned that often that I was getting puzzled by it and yet I'd heard nothing.

As far as I knew, there was not a great deal in it.

The defender also refused to rule out a move sometime in the near future, however, stating that the desire to play Champions League football was forefront in his mind and could dictate his playing future.

You do have to have that ambition because it doesn't last long and before you know it it'll be over.

The main thing in football at club level is the Champions League which is always going to be an aim and if you can do that it strengthens your chances at international level as well.

Baines is widely considered as one of the best left-backs in the country alongside Ashley Cole and would have definitely boosted United's shaky defense for the current English Premier League season. 

So should the Toffees defender be considered a loss for United over the summer transfer window? Was he a player that they could have signed and didn't and what do his comments mean for his playing future and prospective future at Old Trafford?

Whether Baines would have indeed made a move or not would be purely speculation—a move that is difficult to appreciate and understand and one that would involve an awful lot of guesswork, which doesn't really help us.

Manchester United still has pulling power in the transfer window—that we saw through Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie—but whether or not they would have landed Baines this summer is something we'll never truly know.

His comments about Champions League football are fascinating, but I'm more inclined to take them in light of Everton's season and the Toffees' chances at qualifying for European glory this season, rather than him wanting to move to another Premier League club.

Baines knows that Everton have a good squad this year and have a great chance to challenge for a top-four spot in the Premier League and thus make the Champions League draw for next season. I think it's that ambition—not about United or any other top-class club—that his comments should be considered in light of, and not about, a potential transfer.

The England international would no doubt have been an excellent signing for the Red Devils and one that would have given them better stability and depth at the back.

Whether they would have signed Baines or not will never be known, but in light of his recent comments about Champions League football, you get the feeling that his heart is at Goodison Park and nowhere else in the Premier League.

It will be interesting to see where this one goes over the January transfer window, or even the summer transfer window next year.

Should Manchester United have made a move for Leighton Baines?

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