Football

£16m Manchester United target makes contract breakthrough

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Everton have made a breakthrough in their attempts to secure linchpin Leighton Baines' long-term future and expect the left-back to reject Manchester United and sign fresh terms in 2014, according to The Guardian.

Baines has been courted by the Red Devils for most of the season, including a combined £28m bid which included former team-mate and new United midfielder Maroune Fellaini last summer.

United eventually completed a deal for Fellaini on deadline-day but Baines stayed at Goodison Park, with the Toffees adamant that they want the England international to stay on Merseyside for longer than the 18 months left on his current contract.

The 29-year-old will be in the final year of his deal at the end of the current campaign but Everton are hopeful of avoiding a summer transfer stand-off, with Roberto Martinez thought to be confident that Baines will sign a bumper new contract before this season finishes.

Martinez is actively attempting to secure the future of his key players and avoid a summer of unrest on Merseyside after a tremendous start to the season, including Everton starlet Ross Barkley.

United face a difficult decision over whether to maintain their pursuit of Baines this summer for a reported fee of £16m, with Patrice Evra out of contract and rival at left-back Alexander Buttner still failing to convince.

Southampton youngster Luke Shaw is another name consistently mentioned but Moyes is thought to prefer Baines, a player he has a strong working relationship with dating back to his successful tenure at Goodison.

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Topics:
Everton
Leighton Baines
Premier League
Manchester United
Football

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