By Greg Stobart
Manchester United will make a fresh bid for Leighton Baines in the January transfer window, but the Everton star will be expected to submit a transfer request to force the move.
The Premier League champions made a £15 million offer for Baines in the summer but Everton refused the bid and demanded £20m for the England international.
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Marouane Fellaini handed in a formal transfer request to push through his £27.5m transfer to Old Trafford, giving up around £4m owed to him by Everton in loyalty payments.
But Baines, 28, declined to follow the same strategy as the Belgian and did not formalise his desire to leave the Toffees, much to United’s surprise.
United have told Baines’ camp that they will make a fresh move for the Merseyside-born defender but want him to push for a winter transfer, when it is traditionally harder to secure new signings.
Baines is under contract until 2015 and will not sign a new deal while United retain an active interest, despite Everton being prepared to double his salary to around £75,000-a-week.
David Moyes, who signed Baines for Everton in 2007, wants a left-back to replace Patrice Evra, who at the age of 32 has been struggling for form and fitness.
The Scot is a huge fan of the former Wigan man and believes his attacking qualities will add a new dimension to the side with his attacking qualities and delivery from wide areas.
Baines has started the campaign in impressive form under new Everton manager Roberto Martinez and has scored two goal, both from free-kicks in the win at West Ham last month.
"Leighton is the most important player for us now and in the future," said Martinez last month.
"He has been an outstanding performer over the years, and now clearly he's at the peak of his career.
"We're going to make sure he feels that warmth from the football club and, from a contractual point of view, exactly the same.
"As in any walk of life, when you do things correctly and work extremely hard you need to be rewarded. Leighton is clearly a vital part of our future and is going to find out about it."
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