As the transfer window winds toward its conclusion, the number of options available for Manchester United continues to dwindle. One player still making headlines as a potential late addition is Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
United had an initial £28 million joint bid for Fellaini and defender Leighton Baines immediately rejected by the Toffees. It was the latest setback in a frustrating summer for the club, which is looking to bolster its roster in order to defend the Premier League title.
New Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who took over after David Moyes left for United, didn't completely rule out a move, Paul Joyce of the Daily Express reports. Instead, he just stated the initial offer fell well short of they feel is fair value.
There isn't an offer on the table where anyone would consider anything. If they'd matched the valuation maybe then you would listen to one of the players or have to open up, but that hasn't been the situation.
The market brings the valuation. But clearly, if you invest a certain amount in a player [Fellaini] and that player is one of the outstanding performers in the league, then I'm sure that price has gone up. It is common sense, isn't it? All we've had is a bid that doesn't go anywhere near the reality, so it doesn't go any further.
United took a chance at landing two of Everton's most valuable assets and came up short. It's impossible to blame Moyes and Co. for trying, but it's clearly time to reconsider their approach because the Toffees' brass wasn't pleased with the first effort.
While it's been pretty quiet on the Baines front following the joint bid, buzz remains around Fellaini, which isn't a surprise given United's need for more reliable options in the midfield.
Dominic King and Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail report Fellaini is pushing for an exit from Goodison Park before his value increases even further and possibly causes him to miss out on a chance to join a bigger club like Manchester United.
Belgium are expected to qualify for next summer’s tournament and a talented team including Barclays Premier League stars Fellaini, Eden Hazard and Vincent Kompany are already being tipped to do well.
Fellaini fears that a successful summer could push his price tag up even higher and that it would be best for his career if he left Goodison Park this time round.
Fellaini doesn't provide the same type of attacking presence previous targets like Cesc Fabregas would have. He did show some finishing ability when forced to play more of a forward role in the early stages of last season, though.
Otherwise, he's a player who relies on physical play and a solid work rate to make a major impact on matches. The 25-year-old Belgian international is willing to win battles in the middle of the pitch, serving as a stabilizing force in most cases.
If he's hoping to leave Everton before the window closes, as the Daily Mail report suggests, United should be able to use that to their advantage. Given their lack of success so far throughout the summer, the Red Devils will take any edge they can get.
Based on Martinez's comments, United would need to make significant improvements to their bid in order to capture Everton's attention, but the door isn't closed.
Moyes should step up and attempt to complete the first major signing of his Manchester United career.