Manchester United are now odds-on to sign Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini as their chances of luring former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas continue to be dismissed by Barcelona.
The Belgian has a much-publicised £24m release clause which expires on July 31st and as that deadline draws ever closer, the bwin bookmakers clearly believe United could activate it – or at the very least make Everton an offer for their star man.
With the Reds now back in England following a gruelling three-week pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia, boss David Moyes is expected to turn his attentions to securing transfer targets.
The Scot is yet to make a major signing since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson in the Old Trafford hotseat but has made no secret of his desire to bring Fabregas back to the Premier League and has already seen two bids rejected by the Catalans.
A third offer of around £35m has been mooted but with new Barca boss Gerardo Martino and several members of the club’s hierarchy maintaining that the Spaniard will not be sold this summer, he could now switch his sights to Fellaini.
Arsenal were favourites to land Fellaini for most of the summer but they have been pushed out considerably to 5/1, despite being as short as 5/4 just a few days ago.
United are now 1/2, in from 6/4, to sign a player Moyes knows well from their time together at Goodison Park and who would significantly strengthen the Reds’ options in midfield.
Chelsea, who have been linked with Fellaini in the past, are as long as 11/1 to formalise their long-standing interest and bring him to west London in the current transfer window.
However, Everton have maintained that they have no interest in selling Fellaini and boss Roberto Martinez will be praying that the release clause deadline passes without any bids being submitted.
Punters who believe they will manage to keep the former Standard Liege man on Merseyside until at least January can back this eventuality at 5/4.