With David Moyes apparently settling into the Old Trafford hot seat, Manchester United are beginning to look like they are finding their feet under the new manager. with a bit of momentum now flowing in their favour, Moyes is likely to want to use the January transfer window to boost the squad, with Leighton Baines, left back - in more ways than one - at old club Everton, reported to be his prime target.
The England international was chased by Moyes during the summer, but Everton were not keen to let him leave, and unlike Fellaini, Baines was not prepared to push the issue. Now however, the situation may have changed a little. Time has moved on, and when January rolls around, Baines will have only a further eighteen months left on his contract, with no signs that he would be prepared to sign another one with the Goodison club. If United can therefore put together a deal that Everton can live with, the move may well happen.
There's talk that Manchester United starlet, and brief England international Wilfred Zaha, who's yet to make any kind of mark at Old Trafford could be the sweetener on offer, and putting a cash adjustment of some ?8million or so into the pot could mean a deal will happen. Zaha could very much be the sort of player that Toffees' manager Martinez would like under his charge. Talented, and with the possibility to shape and develop him in the ethos of his way of playing the game, the Spaniard could see the winger as an ideal long term investment. The money available could also be enough to recruit the replacement for Baines.
Reports suggest that Martinez is aware of United's interest and the potential for a new bid to land in January, and has a provisional list of options drawn up. This is thought to include Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand, Southampton's Luke Shaw and Ben Davies from Swansea. the first two may just be a little rich for the Everton budget, but Davies could fit the bill nicely.
Nothing is certain when looking forward over two months to a transfer window, but there's too much noise going on about the possibility of a Baines deal for it to have no foundation. Clearly, it's not certain that Everton would accept any bid, but with the clock running down on Baines' contract, the imperative to resolve the issue is clear.