Manchester United are being encouraged in their pursuit of Valencia fullback Jordi Alba. United are battling Barcelona for the Spain international defender.

Valencia want £12 million Alba, a price deemed too rich by Barca, but is the amount United are prepared to pay for Leighton Baines, while Everton hold out for £20 million.

At six years Baines' junior and available for almost half the price, Alba is emerging as a top alternative for United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.