Everton have rejected a double offer from Manchester United for transfer duo Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini.
The bid is said to have been made last Friday, with the combination of £12m for the England left-back and £16m for the Belgian midfielder being immediately rejected by the Mersey side club.
The derisory fee for both players has angered Everton officials, who have already rejected an offer from United for Baines of exactly the same value, while Fellaini had a clause in his contract which expired at the end of last month which would have allowed him to discuss a move if a £23.5m bid was lodged.
"Everton can confirm it has received bids from Manchester United for two players," director of communications Alan Myers said in a statement today. "Those bids were immediately rejected out of hand as derisory and insulting.
"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 (on Saturday) were not disrupted."
Everton signed 25-year-old Fellaini on 2008 for £15m while under the guidance of new Manchester United boss David Moyes, but the timing and scale of the offers this time round has not been taken well for his former club.
The initial fee that the Toffees paid Standard Liege rose to £17.5m after add-ons, and United’s offer is below what Everton paid for the midfielder despite impressing throughout his time in England.
Roberto Martinez had spoken last week that United had made a “final” offer for Baines that he had rejected, but did admit that every player has a value and should that value be met, the offer would be considered.
Both Baines and Fellaini played in Everton’s Premier League opener against Norwich on Saturday, with the teams playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Carrow Road.
United have so far failed in their attempts to bring in a central midfielder, with Thiago Alcantara preferring Bayern Munich over the Premier League champions while Cesc Fabregas has expressed his desire to stay at Barcelona despite United making two offers for his services.
The offer has caused much deliberation across the internet, and celebrity United fan and TV presenter Eamonn Holmes put on his official Twitter account: “Everton have just turned down a combined £24million bid from Man Utd for Fellaini and Baines. Have to say just right - bit of a cheek United.”
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