If Manchester United were a teenager approaching a girl, it’s fair to say they wouldn’t have stand a chance. In fact, by now, they would probably be thinking that they’re destined to remain single for the rest of their life, such is the ineptitude and awkwardness they have displayed in the last couple of months.
To extend the metaphor even further, United yesterday received a literal slap in the face, after the equivalent of asking a girl out to, well, a fast-food restaurant, as the club offered £28m for both, Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines.
The fact that a £28m offer can be classified as “derisory and insulting” is further proof that football has gone completely berserk, but while the influx of money that dictate today’s game might be immoral and questionable, United have to play at that table if they don’t want to drift away.
Today’s newspapers report that United are set to knock on Everton’s door yet again, but this time with two separate bids for Fellaini and Baines. The Guardian claims that, while Everton consider Baines not for sale, an improved bid for the Belgian international could test their resolve – as well as unsettle the player even further which, presumably, was United’s strategy all along.
Fellaini was purchased by David Moyes for £15m in 2008, a sum that rose to £17.5m with add-ons and his former club, Standard Liege, remain entitled to 20% of the profits Everton make on the 25-year-old, hence Bill Kenwright’s decision to let the Belgian go for less than £30m.
However, United believe Fellaini’s real market value to be largely below the £30m mark and, in fact, even below the £23.5m that represented the Belgian’s release clause which, is worth remembering, did not attract a single offer, something United have not failed to registered and something upon which they’re likely to build their strategy for the next couple of weeks.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez said that his club are not looking to sell Fellaini, but “if there is an offer on the table then we will have to look into it,” and, at the moment, the Belgian appears to be easier to get than his teammate, Baines, even though Moyes will have to first placate the anger yesterday’s offer generated at his former club.
Everton’s director of communications, Alan Myers, said: “Everton received bids from Manchester United for two players. Those bids were immediately rejected out of hand as derisory and insulting. The club did not make public these details as it was vital Roberto Martínez’s preparations for the opening game of the Premier League season were not disrupted in any way.”
Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking on and time could soon be running out for Moyes and Ed Woodward.
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