David Moyes ready to spend big on Toffees pair.
Manchester United manager David Moyes is ready to spend big on another raid on his old club Everton, as he prepares a combined £38m bid for key duo Leighton Baines and Ross Barkley.
Having already poached Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini from his old employers on transfer deadline day for £27.5m, Moyes still has his eye on two more additions from the Merseyside club, and Baines and Barkley will top his list of targets when the market opens again in January.
Baines was a top target for Moyes over the summer as well, though he failed to bid an amount that Everton saw as acceptable, as they seemingly wouldn’t go over £15m for the England left-back, despite a strong desire to bring him in as a replacement for the ageing Patrice Evra.
Barkley has also emerged as a target for United in recent weeks, with Chelsea also showing a strong interest in the talented 19-year-old since his impressive start to the season for the Toffees saw him earn a call-up to the senior England national side by Roy Hodgson.
Compared by his manager Roberto Martinez with a young Michael Ballack, Barkley’s all-round skills in midfield could make him an excellent addition for the Red Devils as they eye a long-term replacement for the recently-retired Paul Scholes, and although Everton would likely ask for a fee of around £20m for their prized asset, he may prove cheaper than the likes of Ander Herrera and Sami Khedira, who have also been linked with United in recent months.
It still remains a big price to pay for such an inexperienced and unproven player, but Moyes knows the youngster well from his time at Goodison Park, and won’t want to lose a top young talent to rivals Chelsea, who are well-equipped financially to frustrate their rivals in the transfer market.
Although Everton will be frustrated to keep losing their top players to their old manager in his new role at Old Trafford, United hope that a combined bid of £38m for Baines and Barkley will persuade them to cash in.
Martinez re-invested his fee from the Fellaini sale well, bringing in James McCarthy from Wigan for £13m, and will be confident in being able to recruit more suitable players even if Baines and Barkley are the next to depart the club.
It is understood though that Everton are still working on negotiating a new contract to keep Baines at the club for the rest of his career.