Everton have rejected a bid from Manchester United for left-back Leighton Baines, according to various sources on Thursday. The England international was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford last summer and his former boss at Goodison Park, David Moyes, is now keen on a reunion by making the 28-year-old his first major signing since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, despite tabling an offer of around £12 million, according to the Guardian, United have been told that Baines is not for sale at any price. It was reported last summer that Everton were seeking around the £20 million mark. As with all situations of this type, though, Everton’s hand could be forced if Baines makes it known that he wants a move. United can offer the former Wigan man a first taste of Champions League action and likely a better chance of unseating Ashley Cole in the England side.
Whatever happens, the offer raises question marks over Patrice Evra’s future at Old Trafford. The 32-year-old returned to form last season, but has been linked with a move to Monaco this summer. Yet United have a policy of not paying significant fees on players over the age of 26, and it would seem more logical to replace Evra with a left-back who offers more in the long term than Baines, who will turn 29 later this year.
Meanwhile, new Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has attempted to dampen talk of a return to OId Trafford for Cristiano Ronaldo. Spanish publication El Pais claimed earlier this week that Manchester United were set to meet for talks with their former star in the coming days. Ancelotti, though, has stated that he cannot wait to work with the 28-year-old.
"My opinion is easy,” he said, according to ESPN. “Ronaldo's a fantastic, marvelous player. It's an honor to coach a player like Ronaldo like it was to coach [Zinedine] Zidane. "Ronaldo was not on the list of players like Brazilian Ronaldo, Zidane and Ronaldinho that I coached. He will be on the list of players I coached now and I am so happy for that."
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Another player that United have been linked to of late is Inter Milan midfielder Fredy Guarin. Reports in Italy in recent days have suggested that the Colombia international might be on the way out this summer, but his agent has dismissed those claims.
"He wants to stay at Inter," Marcelo Ferreyra told FcInterNews. "He is happy here and wants to become a champion with those colors. Manchester United, Tottenham and Anzhi are not part of our plans. We are not interested in joining other clubs. My player wants to win with Inter. Does the club want to sell him? That is not what I've heard.”
Manchester United are claimed to be interested in another midfielder, however, with Metro reporting on stories in Spain that the club has made an approach to Sevilla for Geoffrey Kondogbia. The 20-year-old impressed in his first season in La Liga since moving from Lens. There is plenty of interest in the player, who is currently representing France at the Under-20 World Cup, but United are said to believe that they can get a deal done for £8 million.