Everton boss Roberto Martinez says Manchester United are nowhere near securing the captures of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, insisting the Red Devils haven’t offered the right money and, even if they did, that he is not interested.
United have already seen a £28 million joint bid rejected for the two players and are widely expected to elevate that fee to £35 million. According to The Guardian, though, Martinez has no intention to sell:
There is no temptation. In football you want to keep your best performers and that is where we are.
You always get into a debate when there is a club that matches the valuation of a player. Then you need to make a decision.
That has never been the case and where we are is we want to keep out most influential players and build from that.
It has been well reported what the approach has been. We take it as a football compliment and move on.
United boss David Moyes is expected to try a number of different approaches for the Everton duo prior to the September 2 deadline, improving the financial package and splitting the bid into two separate offers in the hope he can land at least one of his targets.
Moyes is still to make a major transfer this summer, and he wants Fellaini to add presence to his midfield, while Baines is seen as the successor to veteran left-back Patrice Evra.
However, Everton have now started a season in which they hope to secure Champions League football, and while their players continue to remain silent, they hold all the cards in negotiations with United.
Everton will only budge on the Baines deal if United offer as much as £18 million for the England man, according to the Guardian, but the Toffees’ preferred scenario is for the player to pen a new contract at Goodison Park.
As time rapidly ticks down on the summer transfer window, United face the prospect of being held to ransom by Everton unless either Fellaini or Baines begin agitating for an exit.
Both players have so far shown plenty of loyalty to their current employers, and it is appearing increasingly unlikely either will hand in a transfer request at this late stage.