Roberto Martinez calls Manchester United’s bid for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines a “waste of time”

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Sky Sports is reporting that Everton manager Roberto Martinez has labeled Manchester United’s $44 million (£28m) bid for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines a “waste of time.”

The offer, launched by former Everton manager David Moyes, was made late last week. On Sunday the Liverpool-based club revealed the bid, calling it “derisory and insulting” and noting that it was immediately rejected.

On Tuesday, Martinez provided more food-for-thought for would-be buyers. “It’s been well documented what happened with the transfer speculation. That’s been dealt with and it was all a little bit of a waste of time, time I don’t want the players to waste.”

Echoing the opinion of Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, Martinez continued: “I’m not a big believer in having the window open while the games are starting. I think the start of the season was important for us at Norwich and I won’t come out now and carry on talking about the speculation.”

More: Alan Pardew wants the transfer window to change

Martinez’s words further appealed to Evertonians by noting his preference for open discourse. “I think, as a football club, we will always keep our fans informed. When there is something to tell our fans we will do that, they’ll be the first ones to know if there are any players coming in or any players going out.”

Despite Martinez’ contention that he doesn’t “believe in getting involved in the transfer window when the games are underway,” The Guardian is reporting that he may well need to as United are now preparing a split bid for Fellaini and Baines.

While the paper does not forecast what that split bid would be but the original offer of $44m has been forecasted to value Fellaini at $25 million (£16m) and Baines at $19 million (£12m). At such a fee United were pushing hard for a bargain deal on both men as $25m for Fellaini was $2.5 million less than what the Merseyside club paid for the Belgian in 2008 and the $19m for Baines was the same sum the Toffees rejected from United earlier this summer. Thus, the reason for Everton finding the bid “derisory and insulting.”

The general consensus at Goodison Park is that Leighton Baines is not going anywhere. The full-back claims he is happy at the Toffees and United’s need for him is minimal considering the form of Patrice Evra (not to mention back-up Alexander Büttner).

Fellaini, however, is another story as Martinez did not rule out selling the Belgian when outlining his contractual position at Everton last week, saying “if there is an offer on the table then we will have to look into it.”

That said, most believe the Toffees will drive a hard bargain and insist United come close to Fellaini’s (now expired) $37 million (£23.5m) buy-out clause.

Barcelona’s Twitter hacked to claim Di Maria signing

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FC Barcelona had eyeballs popping across the Twitterverse for a solid 90 seconds there.

La Liga’s giants Tweeted out a welcome to Angel Di Maria, the current PSG and former Real Madrid star, with the hashtag #DiMariaFCB.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

It was an odd Tweet for 4 a.m. local time, as humourously pointed out by our Andy Edwards, and the hackers were quick to claim credit before any Tweets could be deleted.

So if someone tells you Angel Di Maria is the latest member of Barcelona, be sure to stop the spread of fake news.

On a day where Barca’s reportedly ready to up their bid for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, something tells us someone at the Camp Nou is turning over their keys to the club’s social media.

Rescheduled Yankees game moves NYCFC-Houston to Connecticut

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A rescheduled New York Yankees game is moving New York City FC to Connecticut.

Relax, it’s only for a day.

NYCFC will entertain the Houston Dynamo at Rentschler Field at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23 instead of their regular home of Yankee Stadium.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

The club will offer tickets to another match to current ticket holders, and will also discount tickets to the game in East Hartford for fans who hold tickets to the Yankee Stadium game and want to travel for the Dynamo match (More info here, if you are in either of those camps).

This is the third of three scheduled seasons NYCFC will play at Yankee Stadium, and it doesn’t look like it’ll find a new home any time soon.

Given the everyday nature of Major League Baseball, it’s surprising there have not been more conflicts for NYCFC. We just remain hopeful for the day we can watch NYC’s star-studded roster play on a bigger home field.

“Injustice.” “Incomprehensible.” Ronaldo again protests suspension

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The five-game suspension Cristiano Ronaldo received for making contact with an official is not sitting well with the forward.

Better put: it’s still not sitting well.

Six days ago, Ronaldo took to Instagram to say he was being persecuted after his red card in the Spanish Super Cup.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Tuesday afternoon, he kept up the strong words by saying the suspension is “incomprehensible” and “an injustice.”

Roughly translated, Ronaldo posted, “One more incomprehensible decision. From injustice to injustive, they will never overcome me. And as always I will come back stronger. Thank you to all who have supported me.”

We’ll say this: He’s a really good soccer player.

Barca to offer Liverpool $176M for Coutinho

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Barcelona is insane.

Desperate following a rough two-legged loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, the Blaugranas are reportedly ready to offer $176 million to Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho.

Read it again: $176 million for Philippe Coutinho. It’s about $126 million with $12 million more when Barca clinches a UCL spot over the next four seasons (which they have done every year since finishing sixth in 2002-03).

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Even in this transfer market, that’s nuts. Crazy to offer, and maybe even crazier not to accept.

That’s pretty much two-thirds of the Neymar money. Two-thirds (I keep repeating myself with this story)

It’s even a convenient out for Jurgen Klopp, who’s said Liverpool is not a selling club. Here, he can say with a straight face that the club can improve with this money by selling a player who has — and I recognize it’s not all about goals and assists — one double-digit goal season in his career and a career single-season high of seven PL assists (done thrice).

Almost anyone who’s had the audacity to say the Reds should accept the bid has often been shot down by the Anfield faithful online. “It’ll ruin our season” and “How do we replace him this late?” are the common cries.

To the first question: No, it won’t. To the second: Easy?

It’s not like-for-like, but nearly every player in the world is available for $176 million. It’s not like-for-like, but here’s a short list: Antoine Griezmann, Gareth Bale, Paulo Dybala, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus… Shoot! Klopp could sign 2-3 of his favorite BVB alums.

With this fee, Coutinho would become the second-highest transfer fee of all-time, behind only Neymar. There are makeweights Barcelona could offer that would make the deal even more intriguing to the Reds: Arda Turan, Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez.

Look at it from a neutral’s eyes — which I know is hard from the number of times I’ve read @ Tweets that say, “The only people who would like this deal are fans of Chelsea or United!” — at some point, it becomes unreasonable to not take advantage of Barcelona’s desperation. Maybe Coutinho is worth the “fit” for Barca, but rejecting this fee is more illogical than the offer itself.

At the risk of inflaming every more Liverpool supporters, Ross Barkley is probably going to cost someone $35 million and he’s a year and a half younger (Coutinho is a superior player right now, but we’re talking about the market here).

And, lastly, at some point you’re telling your entire team room that you’re willing to turn down near record money — it would be the highest non-buyout clause transfer ever — to keep a player from his dream club.

Take the money. Use it. Move on.