Manchester United are believed to be interested in adding Everton left-back Leighton Baines to their squad over the summer, as the transfer saga gathers pace.
United, who already have French international Patrice Evra in this position, are rumoured to have made their interest known in the last few weeks. Surprisingly, Everton have not rebuffed them at this stage.
Baines is currently with the England international setup after he was selected in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad. He has been highly sought after in the past, with Manchester United themselves rumoured to have been interested, but all approaches have been sternly rejected by Everton.
However, United are quietly optimistic that they could finally land their man this summer. It is widely believed that Ferguson is keen to improve his options in this position, and rumours have recently surfaced United are on the verge of bidding for Bayern Munich’s highly-rated defender, David Alaba, although sources claim Baines is the preferred choice.
If Baines was to leave Goodison Park, it is believed that David Moyes may seek to replace him with compatriot and former United player, Kieran Richardson. Richardson, 27, is currently at Sunderland and can play any position on the left-hand side. Moyes is believed to be an admirer of Richardson, and Sunderland would not be completely against the idea of selling him.
It is unlikely that any deal for Baines will be concluded before England’s campaign at Euro 2012, but it is believed Ferguson’s interest is unlikely to wane. United have been linked recently with Lille star Eden Hazard and Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa, and, although these deals would take a significant amount from United’s summer transfer budget, the club have not ruled out Baines arriving at Old Trafford this summer.