The rumours linking Leighton Baines with a move to Manchester United have become more common over recent weeks.
Before the Euros kicked off, Baines was asked whether he would find it hard to turn down United if an offer came in.
“The United link is flattering,” he said. “There is no harm in people talking about it because it is a great club. But I’m at a great club as well, a club that I love. Would it be hard to turn United down? I’m not letting my focus shift to that while I am in camp.”
The price being quoted in today’s papers is a massive £17m. If Andy Carroll cost £35m because he was English, then £17m is a bargain, but when you look at the wider market, it’s a bit of a joke.
Valencia have just agreed to sell the Spanish left-back, Jordi Alba, to Barcelona for £11m. He played in every game for Spain in Euro 2012 on the way to them booking their place in the final and assisted Xabi Alonso’s goal against France in the quarter-final.
Alba had just one year remaining on his deal with Valencia whilst Baines has a further three on his deal with Everton.
Of course, the £17m fee for Baines is just paper talk, and even though the deal looks likely to happen, it might not be for the price quoted. It’s also silly to suggest that we should have got in there first for Alba, because it’s obvious his preference would always be to play for Barcelona. However, if you can get Spain’s first choice left-back for £11m, can we argue England’s second choice left-back is worth £17m?