Moyes remains in pursuit after Everton reject ‘derisory’ offer

Manchester United look certain to return with a higher offer after Everton branded their £28m joint bid for Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini as “derisory and insulting”.

Marouane Fellaini
Marouane Fellaini

The Premier League champions’ manager David Moyes has been keen to bring both players to Old Trafford following the Scot’s own summer move from Everton.

But it is clear he will need to offer substantially more than the respective £12m and £16m for Baines and Fellaini which is believed to have been the split for the offer, which was lodged at the end of last week.

“Everton can confirm that it has received bids from Manchester United for two players. Those bids were immediately rejected out of hand as derisory and insulting,” said Everton’s director of communications Alan Myers.

“The club did not make public these details as it was vital (manager) Roberto Martinez’s preparations for the opening game of the Premier League season were not disrupted in any way.”

That both players started Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Norwich underlines the fact neither is in dispute with the Toffees.

However, it could easily be argued that the duo would welcome the opportunity of a move to the champions and, having so far failed to reinforce his squad, it would be a major surprise if Moyes backed away so quickly.

Indeed, it could be argued the offer was only in line with the first £20m bid made by Chelsea for Wayne Rooney in the middle of last month which the Blues are tipped to increase further with a third bid before turning their attentions elsewhere.

A further move for Fellaini could be anticipated on the strength of Moyes’s assessment earlier in the summer that United need to bolster their central midfield options.

United’s chase for Cesc Fabregas is yet to be abandoned.

Realistically though, with the former Arsenal captain starting Barcelona’s 7-0 rout of Levante, the chances of Fabregas exiting the Nou Camp appear remote.

Fellaini might not have shown Fabregas’s game-changing abilities but the Belgian is an effective performer and Moyes currently only has three central midfield players, plus 39-year-old Ryan Giggs, from which to choose.