United supremo David Gill has contacted Goodison chief Bill Kenwright to open the bidding
Manchester United have opened talks with Everton to sign England left back Leighton Baines in a massive deal.
United supremo David Gill has contacted Goodison chief Bill Kenwright to open the bidding and the Old Trafford club are prepared to pay £12 million for the classy defender.
Kenwright does not want to lose Baines and will ask for more - with £15 million the least the Toffees will accept - but the negotiations are now on.
Baines is waiting on word before heading off with England for Euro 2012 duty. He will not rock the boat and is waiting on the bid being accepted.
The move comes just after United failed to beat Manchester City to the Premier League title and comes as a surprise as Patrice Evra has been a regular for so long.
However Sir Alex Ferguson wants to strengthen in key areas and Baines has proved his quality, starring for David Moyes's men since he joined them from Wigan.
Baines is under contract but a big offer would give Moyes the financial strength to go and do business of his own - with Tottenham 'old boy' Steven Pienaar in his sights.
Moyes managed to use Sylvain Distin in the left back role at the end of the campaign, so he may even have Baines's replacement on his books.
The gossips have been cranking out talk of a Fergie swoop for England defender - but young Leighton's all about the Polkraine
Everton defender Leighton Baines insists his focus is on Euro 2012 rather than his own future. Baines has been linked with a summer move to Manchester United after another fine season for the Toffees.
But he is channeling all his energies into helping England do well in Poland and the Ukraine.
Baines said: "The United link is flattering. There is no harm in people talking about it because it is a great club.
"But I'm at a great club as well, a club that I love. The focus now is all on the tournament. There's not much time to let other things seep in.
"It's about getting your head on this job for the next six weeks and trying to do the best you can."
Baines added: "Would it be hard to turn United down? I'm not letting my focus shift to that while I am in camp. I'm focused on what I'm doing at the moment.
"Would it be hard to leave Everton? Yes, obviously. You know what it means. I've been there for five years myself but also know first-hand what it means to a lot of people so, yes it would be."
Baines admits to feeling frustration at Everton's inability to show their post Christmas form during the first half of a season despite finishing seventh in the Barclays Premier League.
Big time: Baines is beginning to make his mark at international level
He said: "There is more frustration than satisfaction because we tend to do this every year. If we could start the league at Christmas, we'd probably be in the Champions League every year.
"I might have a word with someone and see if we can sort that out. That's probably the case if you looked at it over the last three or four years.
"I would like to think that in at least two or three of those seasons we would have been in there [the Champions League].
"It's strange. I've been there five years and we've done it every year [started slowly]. I don't know what it is.
"We've mixed things up a little bit pre-season and tried different things this year. We'll probably do it against next year.
"I feel just even if we just had a decent start we'd be in a good position but generally our starts have been pretty poor and give us a mountain to climb.
"Generally we've managed to climb it but we've given ourselves a tough task."
man u buy
evra say gd bye to man u
but i dun see a need for baines to go Man Utd.
Manchester United are ready to offer Everton up to two players on loan in order to capture Leighton Baines this summer, Goal.com has learned.
Fringe players Ji-Sung Park and the Da Silva twins Fabio and Rafael have been mentioned as possible sweeteners in a deal for the England left-back.
Goal.com understands that United’s interest in Baines is strong as they pursue a long-term successor for Patrice Evra, who turned 31 last month.
Everton have nominally placed a £20 million price tag on Baines, who will deputise for Ashley Cole at left-back for England at Euro 2012.
But United are confident that around £12-15m could be enough to secure the signing of the man who was named in the PFA Premier League team of the year and believe they could twist the arm of the cash-strapped Merseysiders if the sum is supplemented by the offer of at least one of United squad members on loan.
It is understood that informal discussions have centred on the identity of the players, with Park, who has become surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, and the 21-year-old Da Silva twins among the name mentioned.
Everton will push for two players on season-long loans, rather than one, although manager David Moyes’ priority is likely to be a direct replacement for the 27-year-old.
The Da Silva twins can play in both full-back positions although Fabio is regarded as the more comfortable of the pair at left-back. He has been told he will go out on loan in the 2012-13 season by Sir Alex Ferguson, and has been earmarked for a switch to Benfica.
Fabio has failed to progress as expected at Old Trafford, partly because of a succession of niggling injuries, and Sir Alex has spoken of the youngster's need for regular first-team football.
well, at 27, he does seems old.. but MUFC seems to be buying players with EPL experiences..
United leave for South Africa on July 16 and it's hoped the Everton defender will be with them - but a Modric swoop is looking unlikely
Manchester United are stepping up their efforts to capture Leighton Baines.
Sir Alex Ferguson has identified the Everton and England left-back as one of his summer transfer targets, and is keen to conclude a deal as swiftly as possible.
The Toffees value Baines at £20million, but United are unwilling to pay that much for the 27-year-old.
They view a fee of around £15m as more realistic.
Ferguson would like to have Baines on board before July 16 - the day United embark on their pre-season tour to South Africa and China.
But with Everton determined to hold out for the best possible price, the saga seems likely to drag on throughout next month.
Meanwhile, Ferguson is resigned to losing out in the race to sign Luka Modric as United unwilling to meet Tottenham's £35m valuation of the playmaker.
Adios: Modric looks set for Spain as United won't pay the £35m Spurs want
Real Madrid are the new favourites to sign Modric, who is desperate to leave Spurs for a new challenge this summer.
United new-boys Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell will be in the squad Fergie takes globe-trotting in a couple of weeks' time.
"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.
It was never like this at Crewe!: New-boy Powell will get a crash course in life as a Manchester United player with trips to South Africa and China
"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."
why buy a defender when a midfielder is the priority?
club can.. but owners cannot... stalemate