David Moyes has been warned by his successor as Everton manager, Roberto Martinez, that he will not be able to take Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United for less than the player’s now expired buyout clause. Fellaini could have joined a club in the Champions League for a fee of £23.5 million until July 31. But, despite Moyes thought to be keen on working again with the Belgian midfielder, no bid was forthcoming from Old Trafford. It has been reported that the Scot hoped by waiting until after the clause had expired that a lower fee could be negotiated. Martinez, though, has dismissed that possibility.
"If there is an offer on the table then we will have to look into it,” he conceded, according to The Guardian. "When you are in a strong position financially you will never sell a player for less than the buyout clause. Marouane had that clause in his contract, it was very clear for everyone, and on the 31st of July it expired. From that point on, the club has got complete control, in every single transfer, and that's the way it should be. It's the right approach for all parties.
“Yes, you are sweating on July 30th, 31st, but after that it is just a matter that we don't have to sell players because we are not in a situation where we need an amount of money to balance the books,” he added. “We are not in that situation at all. We don't have bags of money but we don't have to sell any players."
That stance is likely to spread further anxiety around Old Trafford. It is believed that Moyes was intending on signing two central midfielders this summer, but has so far been left empty handed from moves for Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas. Still, keen to add to his squad, it now appears that the new Manchester United boss is looking at more attacking players.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Moyes’s search has now taken in Brazilian attacking midfielder Willian. The 25-year-old only moved to Anzhi Makhachkala in a £30 million deal January, but, with the Russian club deciding to dramatically cut their budget, a line is now eagerly forming to try and secure his signature. The article states that Liverpool are favorites to sign the former Shakhtar Donetsk man, with Tottenham also interested, but with United having made a late inquiry.
For a team that has for so many years been characterized in large part by thrilling wingers, United currently have a host of question marks about their wide positions. In particular, Nani, with just a year remaining on his contract, has been repeatedly linked with a move. Potentially in an effort to upgrade their threat from wide, United are said to be interested in Real Madrid’s Angel di Maria.
French publication Le Parisien has reported that Paris Saint-Germain are keenly monitoring Madrid’s pursuit of Gareth Bale and will make a move for Di Maria if the Tottenham attacker moves to the Bernabeu. United, it is claimed, are also considering an approach for the 25-year-old Argentina international.
Meanwhile, most contrived speculation of the day goes to the Daily Mail for their attempt to keep alive the rumor of Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford. Despite a recent report in Marca, Ronaldo has yet to sign a new contract at Madrid and United are certainly keen to bring back the man who left in an £80 million deal in 2009. Still, it seems rather unfeasible that United would need to send coaches Phil Neville and Steve Round to scout Ronaldo in action for Portugal against the Netherlands on Wednesday, as the Mail reports.