Man United step up their pursuit of Everton star Fellaini

David Moyes is growing increasingly confident that he can land Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, according to The Daily Mail.

The Belgian international is also now believed to have his heart set on a move to Old Trafford, which would see him reunite with Moyes, who he worked with at Everton until the Scotsman’s appointment at Old Trafford at the end of last season.

It is understood that Fellaini had a buyout clause in his contract of around £23m, but this expired in July just as United were stepping up their pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas. With Moyes’ replacement at Goodison Park, Roberto Martinez, eager to keen Fellaini at the Toffees, it is thought it would take a big-money bid to convince Everton to do business.

Martinez tried to ward off United’s interest earlier this week, saying: “When you are in a strong position financially you will never sell a player for less than the buy-out clause. The buy-out clause gives you control as a buyer. We have had no approaches for Marouane Fellaini.

“Just because you have a clause it doesn’t mean you are stopped from putting a bid in for less money, that’s never been the case. If someone meets the valuation, you haven’t got a say as a club. As a manager, that worries you because you don’t have a decision to make.

“I don’t want to be surprised that I am not losing a player. I think maybe clubs know he is very, very happy at Everton. I think this season, or this window is different in that a World Cup is just around the corner and sometimes players are quite happy not to unsettle their routine.

“The World Cup is a big event and a player wants to carry on with your good routine from a football point of view and make sure you don’t gamble on changing that. We want to keep our best players. We want to improve window after window. If you lose players it’s harder.”

Martinez does, however, understand that should a suitable offer arrive for Fellaini then Everton may have their hand forced into discussing a sale, especially if the offer were suitably large that it were difficult to turn down.

“‘If there is an offer on the table then we will have to look into it. I have always said that as a club you need to be able to cope with any situation. If you lose a player you need to be able to replace him.

“There is never a manager or a player who is bigger than the football club, the recruitment department at Everton and every department at the club is ready to cope with any situation that is thrown at us.”

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