Manchester United target wanted by Serie A giants.
Inter Milan have emerged as shock contenders to sign in-demand Everton left-back Leighton Baines this January, CaughtOffside understands.
The Italian giants have recently been bought out by wealthy Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir, and have been linked with a whole host of big names since the purchase in what could be a busy transfer window at the San Siro this winter.
Other Premier League stars such as Daniel Agger, Pablo Osvaldo and Edin Dzeko have been identified as possible targets for Inter, and it now seems that they will look to compete with Manchester United for Baines as well.
The England international has been one of the Premier League’s most impressive performers in recent seasons, becoming a vital attacking player for Everton from the back, with his expert delivery from crosses and deadly shooting technique from free-kicks.
This saw Manchester United manager David Moyes try desperately to take him with him from Goodison Park to Old Trafford during the summer transfer window, though the Red Devils failed to meet the Toffees’ evaluation of the player.
United, keen to sign a new left-back, also tried to take Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao on loan in the final hours of deadline day, but are now said to be prioritising Baines in that position when January comes.
Tottenham have also been linked with the 28-year-old, but if an offer comes in from abroad, Everton may be more likely to consider selling the key defender.
Inter are another club that feel they could do with an upgrade in the left-back position, with Alvaro Perreira failing to establish himself as a regular at the San Siro since joining from Porto, and Yuto Nagatomo currently playing somewhat out of position in a wing-back role for the club.
Baines could also be used in this kind of role for Inter, and the attack-minded full-back could benefit from playing further up the pitch, though it unknown if he would welcome a move abroad ahead of the likes of United and Spurs.
The mega-rich Italian club could go as high as £20m for Baines, which would likely be enough to prise him away from the Merseyside giants, who rejected offers of around £15m from United during the summer.
English players are not known for venturing to moves abroad, though Inter also have their eye on the likes of Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon and Blackpool starlet Tom Ince, while former England captain Paul Ince spent some time playing for them during his career.
Baines started his career at Wigan and has been at Everton since 2007, though he is thought to be keen on a move to a bigger club.