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.”
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.