Manchester United Transfer News: Pursuit of Everton Duo Looks Bleak
Everton manager Roberto Martinez spoke at a press conference ahead of his club's upcoming tilt with West Bromwich Albion, and his comments make United's ongoing pursuit of the duo out to be bleaker than ever.
And that's being kind.
As reported by Chris Bascombe of The Telegraph, Martinez yet again defended the idea that Fellaini and Baines are staying put past the Sept. 2 deadline during his Thursday press conference.
Criticizing his predecessor and new Red Devils manager David Moyes and the entire United hierarchy in the process, Martinez chastised the "new way" in which the reigning Premier League champions are handling their transfer business.
"We are not wanting any bids, we are not inviting any bids," Martinez said, according to Bascombe's report. "I have never seen Manchester United working in this manner before. When you want a player you just do the business quietly, you get it done and that’s it. I don’t know if this is a new way of working. I don’t expect a new bid."
Although he conceded that a £100 million bid from the likes of Real Madrid or another power club would force the club to be "realistic," Martinez was quick to point out that United's latest advance of £28 million for both Everton starters wouldn't convince him or the club to sell.
"I don’t want to lose any of our players," Martinez said. "Maybe in other moments when the timing is wrong you have a bid and you have to cash in. That is not the case and we are not in that situation."
As reported by Goal.com's Holly Gillett, Martinez and Everton have already slammed United's latest bid for Fellaini and Baines as "derisory" and "insulting." In a statement on Everton's official website on Monday, he claimed Moyes' interest in his former players was a "waste of time."
Martinez, who also took the time to blast football authorities for allowing the transfer window to coincide with the start of the Premier League season, is doing his best to dispel transfer rumours surrounding two of his top stars and keep his club's focus on the pitch.
His latest comments cement the idea that United either need to increase their bid or start looking for help elsewhere.
There's little doubt Fellaini and Baines would help the Red Devils.
The two veterans fill two obvious holes in Moyes' lineup (midfield and defence) and are familiar with what he expects from his players. Baines spent the last six seasons reporting to Moyes, while Fellaini has done the same for the last five campaigns.
Last season Fellaini had 11 goals and five assists for the Toffees, while Baines recorded five goals and five assists in 38 starts for Moyes. Both started for Everton in the club's first match of the new EPL season—a 2-2 draw with Norwich City.
Will Manchester United successfully seal a Fellaini/Baines transfer?
United have been unable to make a splash in the transfer window so far, lodging a number of unsuccessful bids for top players. It is now less than two weeks before the Sept. 2 deadline locks the Red Devils into their current roster for the foreseeable future.
As of Thursday morning, the Toffees had not received an improved bid from the Red Devils. ESPN FC reported on Tuesday that United was planning on improving their bid to £35 million, but that rumour has not yet come to fruition.
It's looking increasingly likely that it never will.
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