Manchester United to reignite Baines interest

Manchester United are to step their bid to bring Everton defender Leighton Baines to Old Trafford this summer according to the Mirror.

The England international emerged as one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s top transfer targets last month but was put off by the cash strapped Toffees’ £20 million valuation.

Ferguson sees £15m as a more realistic fee for the 27-year-old who’s made the left back spot his own at Goodison Park since joining from Wigan Athletic in 2007.

The Red Devil’s boss wants to tie up a deal for Baines before he leaves for the pre-season tour of South Africa and China on July 16 but the Merseyside club are likely to play hardball.

Manager David Moyes is determined to hold out for the best possible price to boost his own transfer kitty and the saga could drag on until August at the latest.

Baines is seen by Ferguson as the ideal replacement for Patrice Evra following his below-par performances last season but isn’t prepared to pay over the top having already spent £17 million on Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell.

The 70-year-old enthused over the duo as he prepares to give fans their first glimpses of them wearing the United shirt in action during the globe-trotting trip.

“We are all looking forward to the pre-season tour,” said Ferguson. “It’s obviously very difficult in a year when we have had a Euro tournament and we also have the Olympics this year.

“The final tour squad hasn’t been decided yet but we will be taking the strongest team we have available.

I am delighted our new newest signings, Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell, will be in the travelling squad, along with more established players such as Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick and Ji Sung-Park

“I’ve always said how important it is to get a good pre-season behind us. We saw the impact a good pre-season had on the start of last year’s campaign.

“We have incredible support in South Africa and in China and I am looking forward to returning to both countries to start our preparation for the new season.”