Reports in The Daily Star suggest Arsenal could make a £10 million bid for Everton left-back Leighton Baines. The Toffees defender would upgrade a key area of weakness in the Arsenal back line.
Baines is one of the best players at his position in the game. The ex-Wigan Athletic prodigy has risen to prominence in recent seasons.
Arsenal need more solid play from the full-back positions. For all their problems in the middle, many of the Gunners defensive woes come from wide areas.
That's because their full-backs are often so advanced and are sometimes slow tracking back. They also have a tendency to tuck too far inside when in defensive areas.
Arsenal currently rely on youngster Kieran Gibbs at left-back. He is an improving player, but still prone to defensive errors.
Recently, his lack of awareness and positional discipline gave away two goals against Newcastle United. Perhaps a more experienced presence would help solidify the edges of Arsenal's defense.
Baines is certainly a competent and savvy defender. He also offers a prolific attacking outlet. The 28-year-old is a confident passer, a natural link player and is deadly from set-pieces.
Arsenal could offer Baines the promise of UEFA Champions League football, for this season at least. That could be enough to tempt Baines into a move.
However, Everton boss David Moyes would take more convincing. A fee of £10 million would likely be enough to begin negotiations. Yet Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would surely be forced into paying more, before officially securing Baines.927537