Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez admitted that he’s on the hunt for a new left-back in January to provide back-up and competition for Paul Dummett. Newcastle were linked with Baines all the way back in 2007 and the Mirror reported over the summer that United still want the Everton defender, so a January approach could follow.
Benitez recently admitted that he’s in the market for another left-back option, saying: “It’s a position we have been looking at for a while but still we haven’t found someone ideal for this position. We are trying to find the right players and that’s it. We will have to wait and see if we can find specific players,” reports the Chronicle.
Dummett had missed Newcastle’s last three Premier League games due to an injury picked up on international duty with Wales but recovered to make the bench against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. In his absence, Benitez has been forced to play Matt Ritchie and Javier Manquillo in a makeshift role, so the Toon Army will surely push in January for a more natural option.
Baines could be that player. The 33-year-old has been short of playing time this season as a result of Lucas Digne’s arrival from Barcelona, making just four Premier League. Baines has been an unused substitute in Everton’s last 11 league outings and may be open to a temporary move away from Goodison Park to secure more minutes.
Everton might need convincing, however, as they’d only have Brendan Galloway as back-up to Digne in case of injury. Baines is out of contract next summer, so his career at Goodison could be up at the end of the campaign. Whether he’s happy spending the last six months of his deal on the periphery remains to be seen, but Everton won’t want to leave themselves short at the back either.
Stats from Transfermarkt.