Manchester United could signal their defeat in the race for Cesc Fabregas by launching a £23m bid for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
The Daily Mail is reporting that United have opened up talks with officials at Goodison Park that would see the 25-year-old midfielder make the move to Old Trafford.
It is believed that Fellaini had a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave for that fee should a Champions League club come calling, but the deadline for it to be activated has now past and United must now negotiate a deal with David Moyes’ former club.
Moyes saw a £12m offer for Toffees left-back Leighton Baines rejected earlier in the summer, but officials at the Premier League champions are confident that the deal will go through for Fellaini in what will be Moyes’ first significant signing of his United reign.
Fellaini would be in favour of the switch as his desire to play in premier European competition grows after five seasons with the Merseyside club, in which he has developed as a physically imposing attacking midfielder with an eye for a goal or two that can play behind the striker.
His scored 12 goals in total for Everton last season, with 11 coming in the league, though the move has a sense of desperation about it despite Moyes’ obvious links with the Belgian international.
United saw Bayern Munich beat them to the signing of Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara, and appear to have failed in their attempt to lure Fabregas from the same club, with the Catalan side maintaining that the former Arsenal captain will not be sold under any circumstances.
However, Moyes is yet to rule out making a third and final offer for Fabregas, although the chances of him moving back to the Premier League appear to be lessening as each day passes.
It is believed though that once Moyes has addressed the central midfield, he will return with an improved offer for Baines, who has emerged as a genuine challenger to Chelsea’s Ashley Cole for the England left-back spot – a position that Cole has dominated for over a decade.