London – Marouane Fellaini wants to quit Everton for Manchester United before his price tag gets even higher next year.
The Belgium midfielder is currently valued at more than £23million by Everton, who rejected a joint bid for Fellaini and Leighton Baines of £28m at the start of the week.
With Everton unwilling to sell to their old manager David Moyes, United face a fight to land their first major transfer of the summer.
However, Daily Mail understands that Fellaini is keen to be given his chance at a really top club before next summer’s World Cup has a potential impact on his value.
Belgium are expected to qualify for next summer’s tournament and a talented team including Barclays Premier League stars Fellaini, Eden Hazard and Vincent Kompany are already being tipped to do well.
Fellaini fears that a successful summer could push his price tag up even higher and that it would be best for his career if he left Goodison Park this time round.
The 25-year-old has been at Everton for five years and feels he has given the club good service. He doesn’t want to make things difficult for new Everton manager Roberto Martinez and at this stage it is unlikely that there will be a formal transfer request.
Martinez has taken a swipe at United’s pursuit of Baines and Fellaini, insisting it is at odds with how they once did business.
Everton were left furious by the United’s opening offer, which was made by Old Trafford chief executive Ed Woodward last week, particularly as it arrived on the eve of the new campaign.
It has led Martinez to question whether it would have happened had United’s former administrators been at the helm and he made it clear Everton will not be bullied.
“Maybe it sounds a bit repetitive, but we do not want any bids and we are not inviting any bids,’ said Martinez.
“I have never seen Manchester United working in this manner before. When you want a player you just do the business quietly.
“I don’t know if this is a new way of working. I don’t expect a new bid. We’re not in that position. There isn’t an offer on the table where anyone would consider anything.”
Martinez said Everton chairman Bill Kenwright was left feeling “angry, disappointed and hurt” by United’s bid. “There’s been a previous relationship of 11 years with a manager and he had a great relationship with the chairman so you can imagine it is extra-sensitive,” said Martinez.
“The way it is, you are going to get clubs making bids. When a club financially needs the money, sometimes you can sell players at the value. But at Everton, believe me, we don’t need to sell and we don’t want to sell so that makes things very easy.”
Former United assistant manager Mike Phelan has described the £28m offered for Fellaini and Baines as “cheeky”. and hinted that United’s new chief executive Woodward may be suffering teething problems as he looks to adapt to his new role in his first summer after succeeding David Gill as the man responsible for securing new signings.
Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, Phelan said: “I think that was a cheeky bid. It was never going to get off the ground. What they have done is opened the line into Everton.
“Ed Woodward has previously been on the commercial side and concentrating on bringing money into the club rather than spending it. It is a totally different outlook. He will learn that.
“He may be frightened by a few prices but he will have to pick that up, because you are dealing with high-quality football players.”
“He and the club have gone on record to say that money is available. That’s great, but then every price goes up a peg or two as well.” – Daily Mail