Leighton Baines is reluctant to hand in a transfer request at Everton.
The England international has been on the wanted list of Manchester United since the end of last season, when it was announced David Moyes would leave Goodison Park to succeed Sit Alex Ferguson as manager. Two bids have since been tabled, the first of just £9million, and the second believed to be of a moderately improved £12million.
This latest offer, which formed part of a £28million double bid including Marouane Fellaini, sparked outrage at the Toffees, who regard Baines as a superior left fullback to Chelsea’s Ashley Cole. As such, it is believed they would want at least £18million for the 28-year-old, despite him having just two years remaining on his existing contract.
Moyes, who once accused Manchester City of showing his Everton a lack of respect when trying to sign Joleon Lescott on the cheap, is thought to have accepted that the only chance he has of landing his target would be if the defender was to make public his desire. But whilst reports suggest Baines has told Roberto Martinez he wants to move to United, he will stop short of handing in an official transfer request.
The Spanish coach will now hope this brings an end to the episode, and he has gone on record in the early weeks of this season to praise Baines for his attitude amidst all the speculation. Unlike Gareth Bale, who declined to report to training at Tottenham Hotspur after his likely move to Real Madrid hit a snag, the former Wigan Athletic star has refused to rock the boat at Goodison Park and remains fully committed to the club.
Fellaini, meanwhile, is still expected to join the Reds before the 2 September deadline. It has been reported by some sources on twitter that a deal has all but been agreed, but Martinez will only rubberstamp the transfer once a replacement has been lined up. This is likely to involve another raid on his former club for James McCarthy, the Irish international.