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Sir Alex Ferguson's search for a left-back took a new twist today as Everton denied any bids from the Red Devils for Leighton Baines while Ashley Cole has now emerged as an astonishing option. Baines has been seen as the number one choice for Sir Alex as he attempts to add much needed cover in the left of defence where Patrice Evra is the only recognizable name in the line-up. United have refused to meet Everton's Â£15m price tag though, with some reports even suggesting that the Toffees rejected a Â£12m bid.
ESPN carried quotes from a secret Everton source who is quoted having said: â€œWe have not even had a single enquiry from Manchester United. For two months it has been suggested that Manchester United have bid for Baines, but it is simply not true.â€The Mirror carries a more lurid tale as they have added Chelsea's Ashley Cole to the list, citing the 31 year old's contract situation as the reason. Cole only has a year left in his current deal and talks are yet to begin over an extension. The record 7-time FA Cup winner had previously stated that he was more than happy to run down the remaining year of his contract if talks weren't forthcoming.
Ignoring the fact that the Blues wouldn't welcome the prospect of losing their best defender to their title rivals, an approach from Old Trafford doesn't make too much sense either as another left-back on the wrong side of his 30's doesn't solve their problem. Evra has been United's most consistent performer over the last five years and he is expected to rack up similar appearance numbers this season too. Sir Alex is on the lookout for a younger defender who would take over the mantle in due time and dovetail with Fabio da Silva once the Brazilian matures.
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