Moyes makes a €30m bid for Barcelona’s Fabregas and ponders a move for Everton’s Fellaini
Manchester United boss keen to add to his midfield strength
Cesc Fabregas in action against Manchester Unitede’s Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand during the sides’ friendly clash in Gothenburg last year. Photo: Blorn Larsson Rosvall/AFP/Getty
David Moyes wants Cesc Fabregas and Marouane Fellaini to form the heart of his Manchester United midfield next season. The manager has made a €30 million offer for Barcelona’s Fabregas and is keen on raiding his former club Everton for Fellaini.
Moyes has identified the need for two midfielders, at least one of whom must be able to contribute goals, which Fabregas has proved he can do in the Premier League.
Moyes considered Real Madrid’s Luka Modric before deciding on lodging an official offer for the former Arsenal captain. The deal hinges on whether Barcelona – who purchased the player from Arsenal for €29 million in 2011 – are willing to sell.
Publicly they have maintained the midfielder is not for sale – “the player is not transferable,” a source said – but any indication that they would consider allowing him to leave would force Fabregas’s hand as it would be clear he is not considered central to Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova’s plans.
Moyes has turned his attention to the 26-year-old after Thiago Alcantara joined Bayern Munich from Barcelona for €25 million. Yet it is thought that Moyes could have signed Thiago, with the delay in his finally leaving for Bayern being down to United’s manager not being completely convinced by the 22-year-old. Although it is understood Thiago was keen on joining United, there were suggestions from some at the club that he might struggle on occasion to cope with the physicality of the Premier League.
Last month Fabregas said he wanted to stay at Camp Nou. “I’ve always said that I’m happy at Barca. Whoever says I’m leaving doesn’t know me and has never spoken with me,” he said.
“Nor with my agent, because he knows that I don’t want him to talk with other people about me. I’m very private and I don’t even talk about these things with my family. If someone says anything that isn’t that I want to play at Barca, it’s completely absurd.”
Moyes has long retained an interest in Fellaini, the Belgian he took to Goodison Park in 2008 for €17 million from Standard Liege. Although no official bid has yet been made, the 25-year-old is a genuine option for Moyes.
Fellaini, whose contract runs until 2016, has a release clause of around €26 million and a portion of any fee received by Everton would have to be paid to Liege. The release clause expires in mid-August.
Moyes believes the 6ft 4in Belgian would offer a physical presence currently lacking in United’s midfield and, having operated in a deep-lying position and further advanced, is also versatile. As with Fabregas, Fellaini carries a goal threat from midfield, an area the Scot is keen to address.
Following Everton’s first pre-season tour game, a 2-1 defeat by Austria Vienna in which Fellaini was captain for the second half, Roberto Martinez, the manager, talked up the prospect of him remaining at the club.
“He’s still a very young man but I am really looking forward to seeing Marouane working hard and making sure that he sets really good standards.”
Adnan Januzaj, United’s 18-year-old attacking midfielder, is in talks with the club over a fresh contract, with the Belgian attracting interest from Barcelona and Juventus. Januzaj was United’s stand-out player in the first half of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by the Singha All Star XI in Bangkok, before he faded.