Manchester United have yet to make an improved bid for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, according to Everton manager Roberto Martinez. The Premier League champions had a £28 million joint bid rejected last week, with Everton labeling the offer “derisory and insulting.” There have been reports that United were set to return with an improved bid of £35 million, but Martinez has said that it has so far not been forthcoming and that the club are in no mood to sell.
"Everything has been quiet on that front and everything has been as we informed our fans [on Tuesday],” he said.
“There is no temptation [to cash-in]. In football, you want to keep your best performers and that's where we are. Obviously you always get into a debate when there is a club that matches the valuation of a player. Then you need to make a decision.
"That has never been the case and where we are at is that we want to keep our most influential players and build from that,” he added. “It has been well reported what the approach was. From that point on, we take it as a football compliment and we move on."
There is a feeling that Everton will be more amenable to losing Fellaini, rather than Baines, if the price is right. Martinez is already thought to have lined up a man he knows well, Wigan Athletic’s James McCarthy, as a replacement should the 25-year-old depart. Fellaini had a release clause of £23 million that expired in July and any successful bid for the Belgian midfielder is likely to have to approach that figure.
Even if Fellaini is added, Moyes may well still look to bring in a more forward-thinking midfielder. And, after missing out on Cesc Fabregas, United have been strongly linked with a move for long-time target Real Madrid’s Luka Modric.
However, the chances of landing the Croatian playmaker appear to have taken a significant dent. Xabi Alonso has just been ruled out for three months with a broken metatarsal and the departure of Modric would leave the Spanish giants short in midfield, despite the summer arrival of Asier Illarramendi. Modric, 27, struggled in his first season at the Bernabeu after joining from Tottenham but appears to be more in favor under Carlo Ancelotti and started Madrid’s first match of the season on Sunday.
If a move for Baines were to fail, United are said to be considering an offer for Southampton’s highly rated left-back Luke Shaw. Aged just 18, Shaw made a big impression in his first season in the Premier League last campaign and has already begun brightly this time around.
However, understandably, Southampton appear to be less than enthusiastic at the prospect of losing the England youth international. ESPN sources have claimed that United have yet to make contact with Southampton about Shaw. And, having spent big to enforce their squad this summer, Southampton have no intention of selling their leading players.