The Manchester Evening News says Ferguson is pressing forward with the rebuilding he knows is required to regain the Premier League title from Manchester City.
As well as targeting at least one midfielder and a striker, he has concerns about both full-back positions.
At 31, Patrice Evra struggled to reach the standards last season that once saw him rated as one of the best left-backs in Europe.
With Fabio set to go on loan for a year, United have no recognised deputy for Evra, let alone competition.
Everton would demand in the region of £12m for Baines, who moved to Goodison from Wigan for £6m in 2007.