According to The Mirror, Newcastle United are interested in bringing Everton defender Leighton Baines to St James’ Park in this summer’s transfer window.
Lucas Digne’s expected arrival at Everton is expected to see Baines leave Goodison Park this summer after a long period of service.
Baines has spent the last 11 seasons at Everton, but will be 34 in December, and will see his current deal with the Toffees expire at the end of the coming season.
According to The Mirror, Newcastle are considering a move for the veteran defender as Magpies boss Rafael Benitez looks for bargain signings this summer.
Benitez recently secured the signature of Fabian Schar from Deportivo La Coruna to boost his back four, but at least one more defender is required following the news that Florian Lejeune will miss most of next season with a serious knee injury.
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Baines has been strongly linked with a move to the MLS, but might well fancy the challenge of a season or two at Newcastle.
There is no question that Baines has been one of the Premier League’s best left-backs over the last 10 years or so.
The defender’s form came close to earning him a move to Manchester United when David Moyes was in charge of the English giants, but he ultimately remained at Everton, and has made over 400 appearances for the Toffees.
A calf injury interrupted Baines’ 2017-18 campaign, but he still made 29 appearances for his Merseyside outfit last term – netting three times and registering four assists.
At 33 years of age, Baines is not a long-term option for Newcastle, but there is no question that he still has the quality to play in the Premier League.
The former England international would also be a positive influence in the dressing room, and the deal is an absolute no-brainer for the Magpies.