Man Utd resume interest in Everton defender Baines

Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to re-open negotiations with Everton over England international left-back Leighton Baines as the Manchester United manager searches for a replacement for Patrice Evra, the Daily Mail has reported. A fee of £15m has been mooted.

Ferguson was said to be interested in Baines’ England rival, Ashley Cole, but the Chelsea full-back is largely expected to sign for Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season when his contract at Stamford Bridge expires. Alexander Buttner joined United in the summer as cover and competition for Evra but Ferguson has maintained an admiration for Baines.

At 27, Baines is four years younger than both Evra and Cole, and has grown in importance to his current club. The Mail reports that the former Wigan Athletic player is statistically the best attacking left-back in Europe, with his numbers for assists, chances created and crosses per game the highest of any left-back in the continent’s top divisions since 2010.

Baines has provided 15 assists in 84 games, creates a chance every 39 minutes, and crosses the ball six times a game. The only categories in which Evra or Cole best Baines is tackles per game – Baines has two tackles per game to his name while Evra is at 2.6 and Cole has 2.7.

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