Wednesday 24 January 2018

Moyes to up bid for Baines after Toffees reject £12m offer

Jeremy Wilson

MANCHESTER UNITED are expected to return imminently with a second bid for Everton left-back Leighton Baines after David Moyes yesterday had a £12m offer rejected by his former club.

Moyes, who has already overseen major changes to the Old Trafford coaching staff, is now turning his full attention to the squad ahead of his official start as United manager on Monday.

Baines thrived under the guidance of Moyes during their six years together at Everton and it was widely expected that the new Red Devils manager would attempt to take the 28-year-old to Old Trafford.

Everton, though, have reacted strongly to United's interest and were adamant last night that they will not sell Baines for any price.

And, even if they decided to sell, they regard £12m as well below market value for a player who is in his prime and now challenging Ashley Cole to be England's first-choice left-back.

United are hoping that Moyes' personal influence, plus the opportunity to play in the Champions League, will persuade Baines to leave.

With coaches Rene Meulensteen, Mike Phelan and Eric Steele having already left since the managerial retirement of Alex Ferguson, United's interest in Baines also places a question mark over the future of Patrice Evra, who has only one year left on his contract.

Roberto Martinez, the new Everton manager, remains determined to keep his squad intact and is expected to offer Baines a new contract.

He is also confident of keeping Marouane Fellaini, despite the Belgian's £24m buyout clause and interest from Arsenal.

Baines, who has been named in the Premier League team of the season for the past two years, spoke only on Wednesday of his desire to start working with Martinez.

"He was one of the first names linked with the job and the feeling straight away was he would be a great appointment," the left-back said. "He has a different style to what we have been used to but I think it is progressive and it will move us forward. It is also exciting for the players to be able to try that now. The style in general appeals to a lot of people.

"We've chatted on the phone. We missed each other's call a couple of times but we eventually spoke last week. Anyone you speak to only says great things about him, as a manager and as a person."

Baines is unlikely to push as hard for a move as did Julian Lescott, who effectively refused to play before signing for Manchester City in a move which infuriated Moyes. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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