Old Trafford side ready to move in on long term Goodison Park target.
Manchester United are ready to make a move for Leighton Baines but have set a £12 million limit on signing the Everton defender.
Goal.com understands that capturing Baines remains a priority for Sir Alex Ferguson as he looks to secure a long-term successor for 31-year-old Patrice Evra.
The interest from Old Trafford has not yet progressed beyond informal discussions but United are ready to step up their chase and could even make their first formal offer for the left-back next week.
However, the 19-times league champions are not willing to pay more than £12m for a player that Everton value at £17m and have decided to limit their salary package to £80,000-a-week.
This source also reports that Everton will move to prevent Leighton Baines from moving to Old Trafford and will also offer the 27 year old an improved contract in the hopes this would allay his interest in a possible Man United switch.
However Baines may not be looking to leave Goodison Park for financial reasons and if he merely wants to further his career then it could prove tricky for David Moyes to keep hold of the talented England international. Whilst clearly the Toffees could dig their heels in on this matter they would not want to be stuck with an unhappy player who feels his side have quashed his hopes of a ‘step up’.
Sir Alex Ferguson has publicly admitted his interest in bringing in another left-back in order to both keep first choice Patrice Evra on his toes as well as to help share the load of a probable 50 game season.
Baines is one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League, a player Everton would be loathed to lose. However financial constraints that the Merseyside club operate within dictate that such a deal is very possible and therefore the Toffees may well end up simply trying to make as much from the sale as possible. £12m will not be enough.
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