After seeing Joleon Lescott move to Manchester City in the last week of August 2009, David Moyes was understandably keen to ensure Everton would not be left with so little time to replace a key player in the future.
As a result, when Marouane Fellaini renewed his contract with Everton in 2011, Moyes apparently insisted that a mid-August deadline was put on the Belgian’s £23.5million buy-out clause, surely not expecting that same clause could hamper his own pursuit of the player two years later.
Now at Manchester United, and keen to strengthen his midfield resources, Moyes might end up being hampered by the August 14th deadline he demanded for Fellaini.
After missing out on Thiago Alcantara, Moyes could well return to his former club for the Belgian to add to his midfield, with Manchester United struggling to field a settle partnership in the middle of the park for several seasons.
Arsenal too are expected to step up their interest in Fellaini over the next few weeks, although bringing in a new striker is still a priority for Arsene Wenger.
With the Gonzalo Higuain saga still dragging on, Arsenal might be preparing to give up on the Argentine to focus on Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez should a deal with Real Madrid not be completed next week.
However there are also issues in the Gunners’ midfield that need addressing, and Fellaini could be the perfect addition to add some physical presence to their side.
Abou Diaby is surely out of chances at the Emirates, and although Mikel Arteta has been excellent for Arsenal in a withdrawn role, the Spaniard himself is injury prone and 31-years-old.
Fellaini could become a fixture in the Arsenal side for several years if they brought him in this summer, with the Belgian adding tenacity and a genuine goal threat to their midfield.
However time is now running out for both Manchester United and Arsenal, and if they do not complete a deal for Fellaini before the 14th August, they are unlikely to convince Everton to sell the Belgian this summer.
image: © wonker