The England international, linked strongly with Man Utd last summer, has only 18 months left to run on his current deal; with the Mirror reporting that there have been no steps taken towards a contract renewal.
David Moyes is a genuine fan of the left-back, having managed him during his tenure as Everton boss. The Scot signed Baines from Wigan back in 2007 for around £6m, but must now be prepared to pay more than double that figure for the 29-year-old.
Everton are insisting that Utd break the bank for their prized asset, with manger Roberto Martinez resolute on the matter,
“If I want a player I need to match the valuation to then put the other club and the player in a situation to make a decision,” said Martinez (via the Mirror),
“We have never been in a situation where the valuation has been matched with Leighton.
“As a club we don’t need the money. We don’t need to balance the books and that is a situation we wanted to have – to make football decisions, not financial decisions.
“We don’t want to sell Leighton. When you are in a position when you have to bring money then are relying on what you can sell. We are not in that position.”
The Red Devils made a £36m double bid for Marouane Fellaini and Baines only last summer; but Moyes was only able to prise away the Belgian midfielder, leaving Baines as the one that got away.
Baines is seen as the successor to Patrice Evra, who has been struggling for form over the last year, and could be moved on in January if Moyes can get his man.
Everton may be tempted to sell, as his market value continues to decrease as his contract runs down; and with no negotiations on the horizon, Utd and Moyes may not have to wait much longer to finally get their man.
What do you think? Could Utd snatch Baines in January? Let me know in the comments below…