By Russell Edge
Manchester United have leaped ahead of Liverpool and Everton in the betting to sign Burnley defender Michael Keane.
SkyBet have installed the Old Trafford club as firm favourites to land the centre-back this summer at odds of 8/11.
The Merseyside clubs follow closely behind, with Sky Bet’s former favourites Everton placed at 9/4 and Liverpool at 15/2.
Behind the three North West clubs come Chelsea (12/1), Tottenham (14/1) and United’s cross city rivals Manchester City (18/1).
The narrow odds mean Keane is favoured by punters to return to former club United, where he came through the academy.
However, with narrow odds offered on both Everton and Liverpool, it means that no one is quite sure where Keane is going to end up this summer.
Football Insider verdict:
It is unlikely that the odds will really worry either of the Merseyside clubs, as they look to prepare for campaigns next season. They may however worry fans, who were no doubt excited about the prospect of seeing Keane in either the red of Liverpool or the blue of Everton. The Anfield side would really benefit from a sturdy centre back, while Everton would be able to offer first team football over the ageing Phil Jagielka and/or Ashley Williams. The Burnley man has established himself as a consistent, reliable Premier League defender, and it looks as though he will continue to prove himself for club and country, having made his England debut in March. However, the question is which club will he be proving himself at?
In other Everton news, the club could make a surprise move for this League One midfielder.