Is Leighton Baines really worth £20 million? Manchester United reportedly had a £12m bid for the Everton defender rejected yesterday and have been told to up their offer to something to a figure that would approach the £20m mark with various performance-related add-ons if they want to tempt his current club to part with their most prized asset.
Baines is his club's best player, an experienced Premier League campaigner and an international with 17 England caps to his name - many more are likely to follow too. He provides an incisive attacking threat from left-back, while managing to retain a sense of duty in defence, a balance not every forward-thinking defender is able to strike. And not only does he provide chances for team-mates, he boasts a none-too-shabby scoring record for a player in his position. Just ask Newcastle fans what they think of his ability from free-kicks.
There is a clear place for a player like him at United, given the current incumbent of the left-back position, Patrice Evra, is on the wane. The Frenchman has been off the boil for a couple of years now if we're being honest, and plans have been afoot for a while to replace him; Alexander Buttner was brought in by Alex Ferguson last year while a previous, failed bid for Baines was made at the same time.
Buttner is not ready to make the step up just yet, and so Baines remains very much a man in demand. And if Ferguson wanted to see Baines as a United player, then the choice of his successor is hardly going to do them any harm to that ends: David Moyes obviously knows the player very well, having taken him to Everton from Wigan back in 2007 and if anyone can tempt him away from his home-town club (albeit just a few miles down the M62) then it's Moyes.
As for his on-pitch attitude and off-field demeanour, neither can be faulted. As Eurosport columnist Paul Parker said a while ago, Baines is a perfect fit for United.
But is he worth the figure that Everton now appear to be demanding? His skill set coupled with United's clear need for him would suggest absolutely yes. Malcolm, get that Glazer-sized chequebook out straight away and send for a taxi to Merseyside.
Yet ED cannot help but feel £20m is a rather inflated price tag for a player who is 28 years old, especially considering the Glazers until recently enforced a policy of not spending huge sums on new recruits under the age of 26.
Say what you like about the Glazers financial model, but their record in terms of making available money to spend on transfers has not been too bad, despite initial doubts from certain United fans when the Americans took over.
Nevertheless the Americans' dollars simply cannot compete with, say, the petro-pounds across town in the blue part of Manchester and due to the structuring of the club care must still be taken when splashing the cash.
A £20m punt on a player with half the talent and experience of Baines would barely prompt a flicker of concern over at Eastlands, but for United, despite their reputation as big spenders, they cannot afford to be held to ransom over a player like Baines, despite his clear qualities.
With other signings in the pipeline this summer, not least a certain Cristiano Ronaldo, this becomes even more important. Because if a move for Ronaldo does materialise with Real Madrid, it's a safe bet to say United will be held to ransom over the Portuguese, with the Spanish club looking to recoup as much of their huge £80m initial outlay as possible.
As any incoming manager should expect, Moyes will be given a war chest with which to stamp his mark on his new team. He is free to use that as he wishes and clearly he favours raiding his former team for players he knows and trusts.
But whether he will be wise in handing such a large chunk of it back to his former employers for Leighton Baines remains to be seen.
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FOREIGN VIEW: It hasn't taken Carlos Tevez long to make waves in Turin following his move to Juventus earlier this week. Already the former Manchester City striker is splitting opinion in Italy after he was handed the Old Lady's famous number 10 shirt. The likes of Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio and Alessandro Del Piero have all donned the iconic jersey in the past and some Juve fans are thought to be unhappy that Tevez has been given such an honour. Last year Del Piero opposed the club's suggestion that the No.10 was retired and, although the shirt was unused last season, Tevez is now set to bring it back onto the pitch.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I'm aware of the great effort Juventus has made to bring me here. I am aware of the great responsibility of playing for the club so this number is certainly a great challenge. The great responsibility is now that I'm going to play in this great club so certainly the greatest challenge is to do my best. Obviously I didn't want to forget Del Piero, who was the last player to wear number 10. He is a person and player that I greatly respect and who certainly represents an emblem and symbol of esteem. It is a great pleasure and honour to wear this jersey with his number." Tevez himself tries to assure the Juve tifosi he'll do the shirt justice. Which is just great.
COMING UP: No live football from us today, but Eurobot will again be fired up to deliver its take on the day's transfer gossip, while our coverage of Wimbledon continues with Andy Murray among those in action. Also, for those of you who like the whiff of petrol, the British Grand Prix weekend gets under way today with a pair of free practice sessions. We've got live comments on both.