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Will Leighton Baines be a Manchester United player come January?

Leighton Baines

England’s Leighton Baines stands during the playing of the British national anthem before the start of an international soccer friendly against Brazil at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, June 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)


Multiple sources are reporting that, come January, Manchester United will succeed in wooing Leighton Baines away from Everton. The Red Devils have made two previous attempts, over the last two summers, to sign the left back -- but it seems that the Englishman is now poised to join up with former manager David Moyes.

Apparently, Patrice Evra, who’s been with United since 2006, is set to move back to his native France in the summer. With Moyes eager to install Baines at left back, he wants to snap up the 29 year old at the best possible time -- during the January transfer window, when prices for Englishmen with Proven Premier League Experience are at their peak. And since Moyes made it perfectly clear during the summer that he was anxious to be reunited with his former player, it’s quite likely that Everton are going to make a pretty penny should the deal go through.

Adding Manchester United to his resume might increase Baines’s chances of snatching a starting spot on the England squad away from Ashley Cole. Baines missed out on a trip to South Africa but has had many more opportunities since that time, including involvement in England’s World Cup qualifying process. However, the Everton man failed to impress against Chile on Friday night, practically inviting Alexis Sánchez to steal the ball and score the opening goal, so Baines will be looking for any opportunity that boosts his chances of starting in Brazil.

Of course, it’s necessary to remember that this rumor is circulating in the middle of an international break. There’s not much to talk about when there’s not any top-flight football going on. Even a whisper from a not-quite-credible source can gain plenty of traction when there’s little else to focus on.

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