David Moyes has failed with a double bid for Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini.
The Manchester United boss has already had one offer for Baines rejected this summer, but has returned with a slightly improved bid of £12million which was also accompanied by a £16million offer for Fellaini. However, Everton are thought to have been shocked by the low value of this double raid, and have rejected the approach out of hand.
Moyes signed Baines from Wigan Athletic for £5million in the summer of 2007, and the 28-year-old has gone on to establish himself as one of the best left fullbacks in the country; indeed, some even rate him more highly than Chelsea’s much-decorated Ashley Cole, who he is in direct competition with for a place in Roy Hodgson’s England side.
Fellaini was another Moyes signing, when he completed a club record £15million move from Standard Liege in 2008. The 25-year-old, part of the much-lauded Belgian national side, had a release clause in his contract of a reported £23.5million earlier this summer, yet this expired at the end of last month with no club willing to meet this valuation.
That United rate the midfielder at just £1million more than the fee the Toffees paid for him five years ago, since when he has more than proved his ability to star in the Premier League, understandably rankles with the Merseyside club. They will also the stance Moyes took with Manchester City, who tried to tempt Joleon Lescott from Goodison Park for £15million in 2009 before eventually landing their man for £24million.
“We have got a player who we really value and we want to keep,” the Scot said of Lescott at the time. “We think the world of him and we don’t want to lose him. Yet he is being continually put in a position like he is at this moment in time. The way it has been handled is disgusting and it all it has done is disrupted our club.”
Moyes claimed City had turned the defender’s head, whilst also making their bid at such a late stage of the transfer window it would have left him with little time to find a replacement. Yet the first offer was made in mid-July, with the second at the end of the same month; even had the latter been accepted, he would have had four weeks to find a replacement centre-half before the transfer window closed.
Of course all Moyes was doing in that case was looking after the interests of his own club, and this is what he is doing now he is in place at Old Trafford. Yet it is obvious that the paltry size of the bids, coming a fortnight before the window closes, has not been received well by the club which employed him for over a decade. At the same time, it should also be noted that whilst he identifies the players he wants, the responsibility for making bids lies with Ed Woodward, United’s chief executive, not that this will dampen Everton’s anger.