An embarrassing summer for Manchester United boss David Moyes is set to be compounded by Everton’s reluctance to let midfielder Marouane Fellaini leave for less than £25m.
Fellaini handed in a transfer request to Toffees’ boss Roberto Martinez and promptly left the club’s training ground, according to reports.
Now, with no new players signed during the transfer window and pressure on Moyes to bring in some fresh faces, United could be forced to meet Everton’s valuation.
It could all have been so much easier had the Champions triggered Fellaini’s £22m buy-out clause, which expired at the end of July.
Martinez told a press conference in mid-August that he was relieved the date had passed, but after failing to secure any of his first-choice targets, Moyes has eventually turned to the big-haired Belgian in his hour of need.
Fellaini, who scored 11 times in the league last season, would certainly improve a midfield that was found wanting in the 1-0 loss to Liverpool last time out.
Whether he can be the man to provide the precise final balls United distinctly lacked at Anfield is another matter.
At least Moyes has identified there is a problem, but multiple bids for Barcelona playmaker Cesc Fabregas amounted to little more than momentary excitement for Red Devils’ fans.
A move for Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera – who repeatedly tore United apart in Los Leones’ shock Europa League win over the Premier League champions 18 months ago – looks to be going the same way as the Fabregas deal.
There was much anticipation at the start of the day when reports out of Spain suggested the Old Trafford club had met Athletic’s £30m valuation of the player.
However, with little time left in the transfer window and rumours circulating that the deal is now off, United fans will just be hoping that Moyes can secure the signature of his former Goodison Park general before 11pm.