Manchester United could go head-to-head with Bayern Munich for the signature of Everton’s Leighton Baines this summer.
The Mirror is reporting that Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson sees the former Wigan Athletic man as a potential replacement for the Red Devils’ current left-back Patrice Evra.
United will face stiff competition for the England international from Bundesliga club Bayern, who are looking to add to their squad for next season as they ready another challenge to twice consecutive champions Borussia Dortmund.
Baines has had another good season under David Moyes and is gaining a reputation as England’s second best left-back after Ashley Cole – the 27-year-old is likely to travel to Euro 2012 as the Chelsea defender’s understudy.
The Toffees made their habitual strong finish season again this year, but their tiny budget is making competing with the teams around them in the Premier League table more difficult each year.
The report claims United were hoping to get Baines for a cut-price £5million, but his contract has three years left on it and Everton will be looking for something closer to £15million.
The financial restraints on the Merseyside club could mean any sizeable bid may be difficult to turn down.