Everton left back Leighton Baines remains odds-on to join Manchester United this summer despite the Toffee’s stance that their man is going nowhere.
While there is plenty of speculation elsewhere as to where this year’s biggest transfer targets will end up, the notion of Baines teaming up once more with new United manager David Moyes has fallen away from the back pages.
However, despite talk of the move cooling, Old Trafford remains the favourite destination for Baines to be plying his trade this season at 4/6.
Given Everton’s insistence, the 11/10 on the England man turning out at Goodison Park after the transfer window shuts represents better value.
United’s interest in the defender is real – with the champions tabling a £12 million bid last month – but ironically it is the way in which the club recruited Moyes that is now proving a stumbling block to the deal.
The Toffees are unhappy that by Moyes’ own admission, United entered talks with the Scot about replacing Sir Alex Ferguson months before the deal was announced.
Everton are also said to be less than impressed that the news was made public before the end of the season, potentially disrupting preparation for the final few games of the campaign.
An official apology from United is said to have convinced Everton not to follow through with the threat of an official complaint but relations between the clubs now appear too strained for any Baines deal to be straightforward.
The Everton hierarchy are said to be holding firm and it is now believed that only a silly-money offer would tempt the Toffees into selling one of their best players.
With United’s first choice left back Patrice Evra having arguably his best year for some time last season and with Alexander Buttner proving an adequate stand-in it is not as pressing an issue for United as boosting the midfield ranks.
As such Baines looks to be staying put for the next season at least.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing