Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Manchester United miss out on Leighton Baines again

Leighton Baines for Manchester United? Not if Everton have anything to do with it.

It was widely expected that the talented England defender would be on his way to Old Trafford in the January transfer window, having just missed out on linking up with his former Toffees boss David Moyes in the summer.

Moyes, however, now fears that his hopes of reinforcing in the crucial left back slot – which he considers one of the squad's weak spots –will be dashed again early in the New Year.

The new United manager's previous attempt to prise Baines away from Everton has left him deeply unconvinced that his former chairman, Bill Kenwright, will be willing to consider another offer next month, as the Red Devils attempt to strengthen their squad to preserve their Champions League status.

Neither does Moyes believe that Southampton will be willing to sell up-and-coming 18-year-old full-back Luke Shaw next month. In part, Moyes' pessimism is based on Everton's determination to hold onto Baines (left), despite the impressive contribution of Bryan Oviedo during the England international's absence with a broken toe.

But the United manager also knows that it is not in Baines' character to make demands to leave.

Though Baines did tell manager Roberto Martinez this summer that he wanted Everton to accept United's bid for his services, Moyes knows that the 29-year-old does not have the same force of personality that led Marouane Fellaini to push to leave this summer.