The Toffees’ former boss is hoping to bring in his former players at Goodison Park to add strength and depth to his squad at the reigning champions England but Everton remain resistant to offer for their two best players.
United had a £12 million bid for left-back Baines rejected earlier on this summer but new boss Roberto Martinez insisted only last week that no offers had come in for Fellaini.
The big Belgian’s £22 million release clause in his contract expired this month – a cause for celebration at Goodison Park – but, nonetheless, £28 million seems a little short of the players’ combined valuation.
If United knew that Everton value Baines higher than £12 million and Fellaini higher than £22 million then the bare minimum the Red Devils should have bid for both is £34 million.
Once you consider the fact that Everton are going to be more than a little reluctant to lose a long-serving manager and both of their star players to the champions in a matter of months, one would imagine the reality is that United would have to pay well over the odds to secure one or both of the Toffees’ favourites.
Baines in isolation could cost upwards of £15 million given his importance to the team and Fellaini could fetch around £30 million now that his contract clause has expired, especially if a late bidding war ensued.
If Manchester United and David Moyes really want both, they would have to up their offer substantially – I would hazard a guess at around £45 million for both and even that wouldn’t necessarily change Everton’s stance on their ‘not for sale’ policy.
For that kind of outlay United could likely find other targets – there are other very good left backs and other gifted midfielders with Fellaini’s physical presence.
Considering only last summer United spent £24 million on Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie, it seems excessive to me that they would shell out so much on the Everton pair – especially when you consider they have Patrice Evra and Michael Carrick as first-choice starters for both of those positions.
image: © wonker