Manchester United manager David Moyes will have to sanction a huge offer if he wants to finally secure the signature of Everton left-back Leighton Baines.
The Manchester Evening News reports that Everton boss Roberto Martinez is determined to play hard ball over the sale of the England defender and will demand in excess of £20m from United.
Baines was the subject of two failed bids of £10m and £12m in the summer transfer window and has remained a target for Moyes as he bids to further strengthen his squad after a difficult start to the season.
There is a growing belief around Old Trafford that Patrice Evra will look to leave the club when his contract expires next summer and current reserve Alexander Buttner has struggled to make an impression since arriving from Vitesse.
However, it remains to be seen whether Moyes will feel Baines offers value for money considering he will turn 29 next month.
The Everton defender has continued to impress on Merseyside and is pushing Ashley Cole for a regular starting berth in the England team. In fact Baines may well feel his chances will be improved if he makes the move to Old Trafford.
With the World Cup taking place next summer Baines will be desperate to make a big impression and should he join Manchester United, and subsequently impress, they he may persuade Roy Hodgson to make him first choice at left-back.
Moyes showed in the summer that he was willing to spend big as he eventually secured a £27.5m deal for former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, but his relationship with his previous club is said to have soured over the course of the summer.
Everton will not want to lose one of their standout performers but an offer in advance of £20m would be extremely hard to turn down, especially after United valued him at half that price just a matter of months ago.