ESPN reports that Manchester United are set to make a last-ditch effort to sign Everton left back Leighton Baines, as Sir Alex Ferguson looks to wrap up his summer spending following the big name signing of Robin van Persie from Arsenal. After the former Gunners captain signed a four-year deal, Ferguson told reporters he was considering one more acquisition if "a certain player became available" in "one more position".

The Scot recently admitted United did need cover for an already overused Patrice Evra in the left back slot and the loan out of Brazilian Fabio da Silva, to QPR, leaves the Old Trafford club shorter still of options. Ferguson is a known admirer of Baines; reports suggest that United tried to sign the player in January.

Leighton Baines
Baines is a long-time target for United Reuters

The Red Devils have also been linked with Swansea City's Neil Taylor and Lyon's Aly Cissokho, but the Everton star is believed to be Ferguson's top target, as long as a fee can be agreed. It is understood United are waiting for Everton to lower their asking price before making an official approach. The 27-year-old has been impressive both defending and going forward since moving to the Merseyside club from Wigan Athletic in 2007, and has notched 10 goals and 21 assists in the league over the last three seasons.

Unfortunately for Ferguson, Everton's need to sell and raise money has been made less urgent by the departure of England midfielder Jack Rodwell for Manchester City.

In any case, Ferguson will have the chance to observe Baines up close when the two clubs face off on 20 August for their opening games of the 2012/13 Premier League season.

Bolt Wants United Move

Meanwhile, Jamaican sprinter and London Olympics 2012 triple gold medallist Usain Bolt has reiterated his desire to switch sports and play football for United. The 25-year-old, who made history by defending his 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles at the recent Olympic Games, has already expressed an interest in a move to the Red Devils.

Mo Farah and Usian Bolt
Athletes Mo Farah and Bolt, who won five gold medals between them at London 2012, trade their trademark poses Reuters

"I'll be there if the money's right. That's the one thing I want to try, I definitely think I will be good," The Sun quoted Bolt as saying.

Bolt also believes himself a cricketer and earlier revealed he was in talks to feature in Australia's Twenty20 Big Bash.