According to the Guardian, Everton left-back Leighton Baines is poised to sign a new long-term contract with the club, which would effectively end speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United.
The England full-back is said to be one of the David Moyes’ top summer targets, with the Scot eager to bring his former charge to Old Trafford to replace the aging Patrice Evra.
The champions had a double bid of £36m for Baines and Marouane Fellaini rejected in the summer, with Moyes only able to secure Fellaini come the end of the transfer window.
Baines will only have 12 months left on his current Everton contract come the end of the season, but the Guardian reports that the Toffees have made a breakthrough in negotiations over a new contract for the 29-year-old in the last few days, and hope to have the defender’s future sorted before he enters the final year of his contract.
The potential deal is thought to be worth £75,000 per week to Baines, who has shown no indication of wanting to leave Goodison Park.
With his top target slowly slipping away, Moyes will now seemingly put all efforts into securing a loan deal for Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao, who was also the subject of a summer bid from the Red Devils.
A deal for the Portuguese full-back broke down on deadline day in the summer, but considering he has only made four appearances for the Spanish giants this season, the 25-year-old could well be looking for a move this January to secure regular first team football, with the World Cup looming large.
The Daily Express have reported that a deal is actually close to completion, with Real and United having already agreed terms on a loan deal for the rest of the season.
What do you think? Is Coentrao a good alternative to Baines? Let me know in the comments below…