Manchester United Transfer News: Red Devils Must Seal Marouane Fellaini Deal
You get the feeling that sooner or later, Fellaini will end up being a United player. There's clear interest from the club, and Everton would have a hard time holding onto him if the right bid was made.
However, when asked if any new bids have been made for the 25-year-old, Roberto Martinez said, "Nothing. We are focusing on Stevenage. I know there's going to be talk about the transfer window but that's not what we're focusing on now when we've got an important game in front of us" (h/t the Daily Mail's Graeme Yorke).
At the time of writing, there were no new developments in the transfer.
It's difficult thinking that £20 million would be enough to make the deal happen. Fellaini arrived at Everton in 2008 for £15 million, and he's improved a lot in that time, much more than £5 million's worth. It's also less than the £23.5 million release clause that expired in July.
If United must go into the £25-28 million range to make this deal happen, then so be it. They're in need of a player like Fellaini, and they have to fill that need if they're going to challenge for a European title.
Manchester United can win the Premier League title just fine. They demonstrated that last year, when they finished 11 points ahead of Manchester City. Even with City and Chelsea adding some good players this summer, United can mount a title challenge.
The problem is the Red Devils continuing to fall further and further behind the elite of Europe. They've had a disappointing season in the Champions League the last two years in a row. That's not going to change if United don't upgrade their midfield.
Just look at their performance against Chelsea. Manchester United didn't have a ton of creativity or explosiveness with the exception of their strike pair—Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.
Fellaini is the kind of midfielder who offers that different dimension in the attack. He can bomb forward from a central position and play as a box-to-box midfielder. Or he could move a little closer to the strikers and be an aerial threat, which would be great when United have to find that late goal. It would allow Shinji Kagawa to be more of a creative midfielder and give a little more licence to Michael Carrick as well.
Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara and Arturo Vidal would all be better options for the club. The problems are, Fabregas is staying in Barcelona, Thiago is a Bayern Munich player and Juventus won't sell Vidal.
United aren't in a position where they can hold out for a better option. Sometimes you can't get your first choice, and that's exactly what's happening here.
Fellaini is the best player available, and it just so happens he'd be the kind of addition to breathe new life into the United midfield. That seems like all you can expect this close to the transfer deadline.
Manchester United could just stand pat with what they have. If that's the case, they might as well plan on exiting the Champions League in the Round of 16.
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