David Moyes may have his first major Manchester United signing in his sights with Leighton Baines asking Everton to allow him to move to Old Trafford, according to The Independent. Baines has been linked to United for over a year and, since taking up his new role in Manchester, Moyes has tried to initiate a reunion with the left-back that served him so well at Goodison Park.
So far, though, Everton have been resistant to sell and recently rejected a reported £28 million joint bid for Baines and Marouane Fellaini. It is thought that Fellaini was the likelier to move, with Everton determined to hold onto their England left back. But the Independent reports that the Premier League champions will return with another offer for Baines before Monday’s transfer deadline and that the player has told Everton, not for the first time, that he wants them to negotiate a deal.
While Baines has been, arguably, the best the best left-back in the Premier League in the past two seasons, his signing would still be a strange one for United. Patrice Evra remains at the club and returned to his fine form of old last season. While the France international is now 32 and has only a year remaining on his contract, Baines will turn 29 in December.
It does not appear, though that United will be able to complete another signing that also seemed somewhat mystifying. United have been one of the clubs linked with Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil in recent days, amid speculation that the German was unsettled by Gareth Bale’s recent arrival. But Ozil has now pledged his future to the Spanish giants.
“I feel really good here and it's an honor to play for this club,” he said at an Adidas event on Wednesday, according to Spanish publication Marca. "I have a contract until 2016 and I'm staying at Real Madrid.”
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While Ozil is a player of undoubted quality, Moyes already has a talented attacking midfielder at his disposal in Shinji Kagawa. The United manager’s greater needs would appear to lie in central midfield. Attempts to strengthen in that area have so far proved fruitless, however. United made two failed bids to try and pry Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona and the former Arsenal captain has again reiterated his commitment to the Catalans.
“I have never said that I could go, nor have I talked to the president or the coach about it," he said, according to Sky Sports. "What I don't know is how this can be said to be true just because some journalist wrote it on Twitter. My dream is to stay here and succeed."
The boldest transfer claim of the day involving Manchester United comes from the Daily Mirror, which reports that United are prepared to pay £30 million to land Chelsea’s David Luiz. Indeed, the story alleges that Moyes has made “secret approaches” to the Brazilian centre back. There has been speculation that Jose Mourinho is not a big fan of the 25-year-old and he has been linked with a move to Barcelona.
Still, Chelsea look to have warded off Barcelona’s interest. Regardless, it would be a major surprise were United prepared to pay that sort of fee for a central defender given how Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have started the campaign.