Red Devils step up chase for Baines but will not be held to ransom.
Manchester United are ready to step up their pursuit of Everton full-back Leighton Baines but will not be held to ransom by the Merseysiders.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has made signing a left-back a priority this summer and identified England international Baines as the man to replace 31-year-old Frenchman Patrice Evra.
But Ferguson has issued firm instructions to the club’s hierarchy and is not prepared to offer more than £12 million for the former Wigan Athletic star, with his salary set to be capped at £80,000 per week, reports Goal.com.
Everton, however, value Baines at closer to £17 million and are prepared to offer him a new deal in attempt to starve off interest from Old Trafford.
United have considered offering Everton fringe players in exchange for the left-sider but the Toffees were only interested in Ji-Sung Park and Fabio, both of whom have now left Manchester.
At the end of May, Baines admitted the link to United was interesting.
“The United link is flattering. There is no harm in people talking about it because it is a great club. But I’m at a great club as well, a club that I love.
“Would it be hard to turn United down? I’m not letting my focus shift to that while I am in camp [with England]. I’m focused on what I’m doing at the moment. Would it be hard to leave Everton? Yes, obviously. You know what it means.
“I’ve been there for five years myself but also know first-hand what it means to a lot of people so, yes, it would be.”
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