Manchester United have opened talks with Everton to sign England left-back Leighton Baines in a reported £12million deal, according to the Daily Mirror.
The 27-year-old is waiting to join up with Roy Hodgson's Three Lions squad ahead of Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine this summer, but could complete a move prior to the start of the tournament.
Red Devils chief David Gill has already made contact with Goodison Park chairman Bill Kenwright to open the bidding for Baines' prospective move to Old Trafford, but the two parties are far from agreeing a transfer fee.
Everton will want at least £15million for the defender, but United are only prepared to pay £12million, as Sir Alex Ferguson steps up his search for a long-term replacement for Patrice Evra.
The development comes after United lost their Premier League crown to local rivals Manchester City, and Ferguson is more determined than ever to strengthen in a number of key areas.
Baines still has three years to run on his current contract, so the Toffees will be in a strong position when they comes to the negotiating table. But, the sale could also provide valuable funds for David Moyes to make signings of his own this summer, with Tottenham midfielder Steven Pienaar top of his transfer wish list.
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