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Moyes told to increase bid for target

Everton v West Bromwich Albion - Premier LeagueManchester United could still land Everton full-back Leighton Baines, but David Moyes has been told to significantly increase his bid for the England international. United had an initial £12m bid rejected by Everton late on Thursday evening as Everton chairman Bill Kenwright declared Baines was “not for sale at any price”.

Today’s newspapers, however, tell us a different story with reports that Everton are prepared to let their left-back go, but only for a price they consider satisfying. Newspapers being newspapers, the sum Everton would be happy to accept varies across different publication.

According to the Mirror, Everton are holding out for a bid in the £20m region, but United are determined to not spend more than £15m, a sum that, according to the Guardian and the Sun, would be enough to prize the 28-year-old away from Goodison Park, while the Mail claims the key to secure Baines is a £15m bid plus another £5m in add-ons.

Over the last couple of seasons, Baines as emerged as arguably the best left-back in the country but investing on £20m on a 28-year-old left-back, as good as he might be, is a decision any manager would have to ponder. With Patrice Evra now in his thirties, Fabio returning to the club after a loan spell at QPR and Alexander Buttner also on United’s books, does Moyes really need to spend such a hefty sum on a left-back?

The Telegraph seems to think so, claiming that United are to “return imminently” with a second bid for the Everton full-back which, if accepted, could spell the end of Patrice Evra’s career at Old Trafford. The Frenchman has been linked with Monaco and PSG, reports the Sun, and Moyes would be prepared to let him go.

Meanwhile, the Daily Star claims that United will turn their attention to Gareth Bale, should they fail to lure Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford. The Star seems to be the only paper still pursuing the Ronaldo to United rumour which, the paper claims, will be a lot easier than signing Bale given the contribution of Chevrolet and Nike, who would allegedly offer a £250,000-a-week to the Portuguese star.

Spurs, continues the Star, aren’t likely to let Bale go for less than £80m, an incredible fee for a club like United.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though, as the same article claims that former Ajax and Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff has urged Thiago Alcantara to quit Barcelona and join United. True to its style the Star doesn’t provide any quotes to back this claim up, but they do offer Steven Gerrard‘s insight ahead of next season.

“They have replaced a world-class manager with another who has done a ­fantastic job at Everton,” said the Liverpool skipper “So, I think David will continue to do a good job there.

“It is new for Manchester United. From a biased point of view, let’s hope they have a wobble.”

Being captain of a club whose wobble began 22 years ago, Steven Gerrard clearly knows what he’s talking about.