Manchester United Transfer News: Moyes Must Not Overpay for Marouane Fellaini
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It's understandable that David Moyes wants to bring Marouane Fellaini to Old Trafford, just as it's understandable that Fellaini wants to leave Everton to join him. However, the £36 million fee being reported by the Sunday People via Alan Nixon and Steve Bates of the Mirror—for Fellaini and United youngster Jesse Lingard on loan—is far too much to give up.
The previous offer, of £28 million for Fellaini and Leighton Baines, was rejected out of hand by Everton. In fact, BBC Sport reported the deal was labelled “derisory and insulting” by Roberto Martinez.
Moyes was smart to table a low initial bid, but selling clubs understand managerial desperation as the transfer window closes. It's vital that he avoids overpaying in his desire to land his former player:
It would also be a shame to lose Lingard, even just for a season. He offers a useful option in midfield and scored four goals in four games during the preseason tour of Asia. This prompted Jack de Menezes of The Independent to declare, “Who Needs Wayne Rooney When You've Got Jesse Lingard.”
While this is obviously a provocative statement that holds little truth, there's no denying the potential of the Cheshire-born Lingard. While a loan spell could see him gain valuable Premier League minutes, there are no guarantees at Everton, either.
Moyes needs to cement his own reputation at Manchester United, and their crop of talented young players is a perfect foundation on which to do so. Sending players like Lingard out on season-long loans in favour of bringing in his former Everton players only delays this:
@sulsinslough united will massively overpay for fellaini and that'll be that— United Rant (@unitedrant) August 31, 2013
Would United fans begrudge finishing third or fourth for a couple of years if it meant Moyes assembled a crop of players capable of taking on the world? Unlikely.
Returning to Fellaini, his goals from midfield would be valuable. But more valuable than the £22.5 million it took to bring Robin van Persie to Old Trafford?
That's also unlikely, which is why Moyes needs to tread carefully during his inaugural transfer window. If Fellaini fails to move to United now, there's a distinct possibility that he'll remain at Everton in the hope of joining Moyes at Old Trafford in January.
It's a dirty tactic, but all he really has to do is turn in lacklustre displays between now and January and Moyes will be able to pick him up for much less. Just because something is unethical, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
Fellaini would be a wonderful asset to the United midfield and deepen a position that could use some additional strength. However, that doesn't excuse pursuing him blindly. Arsene Wenger may come under fire for his stationary transfer windows, but no one ever says he isn't patient.
A position somewhere in the middle should find Moyes getting what he wants, and at a price that he wants.
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