Everton have plans in place to make a January move for Chelsea full-back Ryan Bertrand, meaning the deal to take England international Leighton Baines to Manchester United may finally be completed when the transfer window opens.
Baines is arguably one of the top left-back’s in world football on current form and his former boss David Moyes has made it clear that United want to add the his name to their ranks.
Baines has scored nine goals for Everton since the start of last season.
The Red Devils had a £12million offer turned down this summer by Everton with Moyes unwilling to match the £20m valuation set by Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright, but with Blues boss Roberto Martinez lining up a replacement it seems as though Everton may finally play ball with United at a figure reported to be £15m.
Full of creativity, pace and guile, Baines would add a much needed attacking option to a Manchester United side that has struggled to generate enough quality from wide areas so far this season.
Moyes will also be well aware of the goal threat Baines provides from his wand of a left foot.
The man dubbed the ‘left-footed David Beckham’ from set-pieces scored two sumptuous free-kicks in one game against West Ham United earlier this season.
A replacement is needed for the ageing Patrice Evra at United.
The experienced Frenchman’s surging attacking runs, something so vital for a modern day full-back, are rapidly diminishing with every season.
He will turn 33 at the end of the campaign and the current reserve left-back Alexander Buttner has struggled to make an impact at the Red Devils.
Everton are looking to replace Baines with Chelsea defender Bertrand.
With Baines set to depart Merseyside, Martinez has already begun installing the groundwork for a move to bring in the flying Chelsea full-back.
He would reportedly cost £5m to prize away from Stamford Bridge although his £60,000 a week wages may prove to be a stumbling block as rivals Liverpool, who had a bid accepted for the player, found out over the summer.