United boss David Moyes defends his bid for Everton duo

Champions’ offer of €32 million for Baines and Fellaini rejected as ‘derisory and insulting’ by Everton

Manchester United manager David Moyes and Everton boss Roberto Matinez: disagree as to the combined worth of Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. Photo:Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester United manager David Moyes and Everton boss Roberto Matinez: disagree as to the combined worth of Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. Photo:Michael Regan/Getty Images


David Moyes has claimed Everton’s manager, Roberto Martinez, is holding back the careers of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines by not allowing them to be sold to Manchester United.

The club had a €32 million joint bid for the duo rejected by Everton last week, with Martiinez intent that neither player is for sale. Moyes, who left Goodison Park to take over from Alex Ferguson this summer, made it clear he would not have stood in the players’ way had he been in his old job.

However, the Scot conceded that during his own time in charge of Everton, Manchester City attempted to buy Joleon Lescott for an undervalued price, so he has some sympathy for Martinez.

“I definitely do but I also know that if I’d been Everton manager and Sir Alex had come asking for Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini, I’d have found it very difficult to keep them because I always felt the right thing to do was what was right for the players,” he said.

Everton described their former manager’s offer for the pair as “derisory and insulting” but Moyes said: “I signed every player at Everton, so I know a lot about them. They are a great club and they are both excellent players.”

He added: “The bid, from Manchester United’s point of view, was a private thing and if and when we make a new offer we’d keep that offer private and confidential as well.”

Moyes would not be drawn on whether he was annoyed that Everton had gone public.

Transfer window
“The transfer window is open and we can make bids and you can say ‘Yes or no’, it’s as simple as that. You are allowed to bid. That’s not our choice [to make it public]. That’s up to them. You need to ask them that question.

“There’s sort of a mixed market at the moment. No one is quite sure where the price is right. It’s a sort of strange market. Suddenly someone could give you big money. We’ve had offers for players at this club, which we feel are quite small. I can see it where other clubs might be thinking it’s not enough value for their players as well.”

Martinez claimed that United lacked “common sense” but Moyes shrugged this off.

“All we can do is do our job here. Roberto is in a new job and I’m sure he’ll get to understand how Everton work. I know exactly how Everton work. I think I’ve signed every player at Everton.” he said.

Moyes was unaware of the former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall’s claim that the Scot was “despicable” regarding the bid.

Different question
Asked if Moyes would have felt the same if €32m had been offered to him as Everton manager, he replied: “That’s a different question, which I’ve tried to answer. Everton are a great club, I respect them greatly and I in no way would want to do it in a way that affects them. Of course, taking a player is going to affect them. I’m doing what I have to do in my job.

“I speak to Bill Kenwright (Everton chairman) regularly, we speak most weeks. He was great for me and hopefully he would think that I’d done a good job for him as well and Everton. There’s no way there’s any disrespect whatsoever.”

Beyond Fellaini and Baines, Moyes still hopes to recruit another midfielder, at least. “There’s a possibility but the plan is we can bring in one or two if we can,” he said. “There’s a need to do it but there’s no pressure to do it.”

Moyes said that Wayne Rooney has a “good chance of starting” for United against Chelsea on Monday evening, with the manager unconcerned that any third bid from their opponents could affect the unsettled striker. United host Chelsea in Moyes’s first home league game since succeeding Ferguson, with the club still insistent that Rooney is not for sale at any price.

Moyes is relishing the visit by Chelsea and said: “I came to win trophies and if you are going to win them then you do need to beat teams like Chelsea and Manchester City because that’s the way our league is. I’m looking forward to it.”
Guardian Service