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Manchester United miss out on key signing, say reports

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Leighton Baines looks set to sign a new long-term contract with Everton, ruling out the possibility of a move to Manchester United.

Jan Kruger

It's no secret that David Moyes has been pretty keen on bringing Leighton Baines to Manchester United ever since he took charge. But, with rumours flying that the England international is about to sign a long-term contract extension at Everton, it looks like he won't be the solution to United's lingering left-back problem after all.

United looked to bring in Baines at the same time as Marouane Fellaini in the summer, but their £28 million joint bid was branded "derisory and insulting." Given that Moyes ended up paying that much for Fellaini alone, it's hardly surprising.

The news of a Baines extension may well come as a disappointment to Moyes, though is it bad news for United? Probably not. Though he's has been one of the Premier League's most solid left-backs over the last few seasons, Baines is now 29, and would probably command a transfer fee twice as big as alternatives like Fábio Coentrão, who is four years his junior.

Baines is a good -- but not great -- player, and United having to turn their attention to younger, better targets may be no bad thing at all.