Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Separate Everton Offers Is Best Option
If new Manchester United manager David Moyes thought working with his former club would help him end the club's transfer drought, he quickly found out otherwise. Everton immediately turned down a combined offer for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines.
The manner in which Everton rejected the offer is notable. Not only did the Toffees say no, but they did so in public while using words like derisory and insulting. It sends a clear message that Manchester United must go back to the drawing board.
Quite frankly, it's not hard to see why Everton took such a hardline stance. Andy Hunter and Jamie Jackson of The Guardian state the initial offer for both players was £28 million, which is low, even for a starting point in negotiations.
The report goes on to say the straightaway rejection is causing United to change course:
United's joint bid, as with their initial move for Baines in June, was rejected out of hand by Everton but is unlikely to be their last approach having failed to make any senior signings so far under Moyes. Everton are adamant the England left-back is not for sale and want to keep Fellaini, although an improved offer for the Belgium midfielder may test that resolve. United's prospects would therefore be improved by lodging separate bids for Everton's prize assets.
By approaching each player separately, it increases United's chances of landing at least one and gives Everton to option of making a deal without having to lose two key assets at once.
Perhaps United thought if they made one sizable bid instead of two different offers, the large sum would entice Everton to sell. Instead, the mediocre starting price caused Everton to lash out and left Moyes still searching for his first marquee signing.
Fellaini seems like the more attainable target. The Guardian report states Everton have already looked into potential replacements for the hard-nosed midfielder, including James McCarthy of Wigan Athletic or a loan deal for Manchester City's Gareth Barry.
Since the Toffees have other options on the table, it's possible the right offer would at least get Everton to consider the bid instead of an immediate denial.
Baines presents a trickier situation because it's not as easy to replace a star left-back as it is a midfielder. He's been a stalwart member of the Everton back line for the past handful of seasons and departing would leave a major defensive void for Roberto Martinez in a limited amount of time.
Who should be United's main target from Everton?
His status is the main reason a joint bid probably won't work. Everton may consider moving Fellaini or, under perfect circumstances, Baines, but sending them both to another club at the same time with less than two weeks until the window closes in an extreme long shot.
So Moyes should move forward with a plan to approach Everton with two completely different offers and hope it leads to progress. Time is running out before the window closes, which means United have to do anything possible to expedite the process.
Otherwise, they will end up without Fellaini, Baines or anybody else.
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