Marouane Fellaini has reportedly decided he wants to leave Everton to join Manchester United, and while Roberto Martinez says his club will do all they can to keep the player, he couldn’t guarantee that the midfielder will still be at Goodison Park after the transfer window closes.
Fellaini is unlikely to submit a transfer request to leave the club, but with the World Cup at the end of the season playing for a promising Belgium team, the 25-year-old’s value is set to get higher and he will be priced out of another big move next summer.
United have endured a frustrating time in transfer dealings this summer, with former Toffees’ manager David Moyes failing in a recent £28m double bid for Fellaini and Leighton Baines, an offer labelled "derisory and insulting" by Everton.
Manager Martinez could not say for definite he would be able to keep the players, but did reveal that they have no financial pressure to sell.
"Nobody can guarantee a player will be here on 3 September, in the same way you can't guarantee you'll have a squad that is fully fit,” Martinez said. “If I say I can guarantee they will stay I would be lying because if Real Madrid decides to give us €100m for a player I’m sure we will not be able to stop that.”
“We need to be realistic. I don’t want to lose anyone and financially the club do not have to sell, which is very important. Maybe in other moments, when the timing is wrong, you have a bid and you have to cash in. That is not the case.
Martinez questioned United’s professionalism over the public nature of their pursuit of Baines and Fellaini, suggesting it is a new way of dealing with transfers since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I have never seen Manchester United working in this manner before," the Spaniard said. “When you want a player you just do the business quietly, you get it done and that's it. I don't know if this is a new way of working at United. I don't expect a new bid. In fact, it wasn't even a bid because it never reached any sort of valuation of the players.”
Martinez was angered that United did not improve on the £12m that they previously offered for Baines, while the £16m valuation of Fellaini fell well below his buyout clause, which stood at £23m and expired in June. It is reported that Everton are holding out for more than £40m for the pair.
“There isn't an offer on the table where anyone would consider anything. If they'd matched the valuation maybe then you would listen to it but that hasn't been the situation.”