Skip to content

Marouane Fellaini’s potential transfer to United and how Everton can soften the blow

May 10, 2013, 5:00 AM EDT

Liverpool v Everton - Premier League Getty Images

During the next press conference that David Moyes holds I’d love for the following question to be asked:

‘If the Glazer family offers to trigger Marouane Fellaini’s £23 million release clause, will you make him a Manchester United player?’

I’ve got to assume his answer would be ‘yes,’ primarily because £23 million is great value for a 25 year old, freakishly athletic, multi-tooled player who, whether deployed as a holding midfielder or a striker, is a nightmare for the opposition.

More: Marouane Fellaini’s £23 million release clause is a joke

Sir Alex Ferguson isn’t likely to disagree as the Belgian single-handedly tore apart Manchester United when the two clubs met last August, scoring the 57th minute game-winner. And the fact is, United need a player like Fellaini. While Michael Carrick has been brilliant this season, Tom Cleverley, Paul Scholes and Anderson have all underwhelmed. Fellaini’s presence next to Carrick would reduce the Englishman’s defensive load and free him up to do what he does best – provide pinpoint passes to generate the attack.

But what about Phil Jones, you ask?

The 21 year old has quality written all over him. But for me, it’s center-back quality. While he could deputize for Carrick and Fellaini in the pivot, the former Blackburn man needs to be groomed as the future leader of United’s back four. It’s a bit crowded back there at the moment, but Jones would blossom if inserted into a rotation alongside Johnny Evans, the oft-injured Nemandja Vidic and the soon-to-be-retired Rio Ferdinand.

As someone who follows Everton extremely close, however, I must be honest: I’m still in the dark as to whether or not Moyes is a fan of Fellaini’s character.

For Evertonians, the following quote will feel a bit like a kiss from your sister but it wasn’t a fortnight ago that Moyes had this to say about the Belgian: “[Fellaini] is a big part of our squad, and he is someone that we will be more than happy to see here again next year at Goodison.”

It was a nice comment, but fairly stale in nature. When asked whether Fellaini was equally adept at defending as he is attacking, the Scot replied: “He is a good player in either role and is capable of doing both,” Moyes explained. “I think, as he matures, he might grow into a deeper role, but currently he does give us a different attacking option and has scored quite a few goals.”

Now, perhaps this is just me trying to read between the lines, but it doesn’t feel like Moyes has a ton of love for the Belgian.

Hopefully I’m wrong because what a great story it would be for all parties involved if Fellaini went to Old Trafford: United would get a dominant player on the cheap, Fellaini would get to play in the Champions League, Moyes would be able to continue grooming the player who he spent the last 5 years turning into a man, and Everton . . . Well, what would Everton get out of this?

Karma.

That sounds rather crappy, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s all Evertonians can hope for at this point. Allow me to elaborate.

In an ideal world Fellaini’s release clause would be £30-35 million but, because Everton failed to negotiate good value for their player, it’s not. So, we move on to the next best thing – hoping that Fellaini’s release clause is triggered by a club so far away that the Toffees never have to see that that luscious afro again. A place like, Makhachkala.

Ah, Russia. Perfect. Send the dude to Anzhi and be done with it.

The problem is, the chance of that happening is extremely slim. If anyone is triggering Fellaini’s release clause it’s going to be a club with expansive financial wherewithal and a heightened familiarity with Fellaini’s game. Meaning one of following three: United, Chelsea or Manchester City.

And it all comes down to who pulls the trigger quicker. The summer transfer window opens at midnight of the last day of the season – I suggest interested parties submit bids no later than 12:01 am.

But back to that karma thing.

Evertonians should favor Marouane Fellaini’s move to United because recent history has established a healthy pipeline between the two clubs. It began with the sale of Wayne Rooney to Old Trafford in 2004. Then in 2005, United sent Phil Neville to Goodison and in 2006, it was Tim Howard who made the switch. In 2008, United moved Louis Saha to Merseyside and in 2012 Darron Gibson changed kits.

That’s some strong pipe. And you better believe it grew much stronger yesterday when Moyes signed with United, which, notably, was at the end of his contract meaning United didn’t owe a dime in the form of a transfer fee.

So if the Everton board has an ounce of business savvy – and the jury is still out on that one – it will sit down and negotiate with United the intricacies of the Fellaini deal. Specifically, I suggest Everton calmly remind United of the sweet deal they’re getting and request (as a nice gesture to the pipeline) a right of first refusal on all of the Red Devils’ out-going transfers and loans for the next three years.

Of course, United would never owe such terms as there’s no additional consideration being tendered by Everton, but one would hope that good faith (in the name of the pipeline) would play a roll and United would at least consider it.

Again, not a huge victory for Everton but at least the Toffees get something out of the deal. Then, when guys like Nani and Anderson come up for sale or Alexander Buttner and Nick Powell are sent out on loan, Everton would have first dibs and the option of strengthening the club.

Bottom line, come the last day of the season, Marouane Fellaini is walking out that door.

Everton best do what they can to soften the blow.

Latest Posts
  1. West Ham officially adds Alex Song on loan from Barcelona

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:12 AM EDT

    ?????

    The long-time Arsenal midfielder is returning to both London and the Premier League.

  2. Burnley 0-0 Manchester United: Sloppy Utd overshadows Di Maria debut

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT

    Burnley v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    The Premier League got its first taste of what Di Maria can do when he served an absolutely gorgeous 50-yd ball to a streaking van Persie.

  3. Watch Live: Swansea City vs. West Bromwich Albion (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:13 AM EDT

    Monk Getty Images

    Can the Swans win three on the spin to the start the season? Watch their game against West Brom live, right here.

  4. Watch Live: Queens Park Rangers vs. Sunderland (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:12 AM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers' Park challenges Sunderland's Larsson during their English Premier League soccer match in London Reuters

    Jozy Altidore is on the bench for Sunderland, but the bigger striker news is that Chelsea target Loic Remy is not on the bench for QPR.

  5. Watch Live: Newcastle United vs. Crystal Palace (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

    Newcastle left it til late, but finally found a winner courtesy of Papiss Cisse. Getty Images

    The newest England call-up and ‘Ginger Pirlo’ Jack Colback will join a dangerous NUFC unit that sees Remy Cabella, Moussa Sissoko and Siem de Jong in the mix.

  6. Watch Live: West Ham United vs. Southampton (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

    Southampton v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    Can Saints grab their first win the season away from home against West Ham? Watch live, here.

  7. Watch Live: Manchester City vs. Stoke City (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:04 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    Bacary Sagna makes the lineup for City, who will start Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic up top.

  8. Report: Loic Remy heading from QPR to Chelsea in $13 million move

    Aug 30, 2014, 8:43 AM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v Hull City - Premier League Getty Images

    Mourinho will remember Remy’s Man of the Match performance for Newcastle United in a 2-0 win over Chelsea at St. James Park last season.

  9. Report: US, Bayern Munich starlet Julian Green to join Hamburg on loan

    Aug 30, 2014, 8:26 AM EDT

    Brazil Soccer WCup Belgium US AP

    According to reports in Germany, Green, 19, heading to Hamburg for the 2014-15 season.

  10. Report: Ajax accepts $23 mil Daley Blind bid from Manchester United

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:20 AM EDT

    Netherlands' Daley Blind, center, celebrates with Bruno Martins Indi, right, after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Brazil and the Netherlands at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez) AP

    Don’t mind Louis van Gaal: he’s just setting Manchester United up to immediately contend.

  11. Watch Live: Burnley vs. Manchester United (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:07 AM EDT

    10633046555_cbefbc577e_z

    It’ll be a big day at Turf Moor regardless of result, as it’ll mark Louis van Gaal’s first Premier League win or Burnley’s first PL point.

  12. WATCH: Premier League online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 3

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

    LE_WEB_BANNER_40px_RGB_POS

    How and where to watch every single PL game live online or via the app.

  13. MLS Snapshot: Sporting Kansas City 1-3 Houston Dynamo

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:06 AM EDT

    Graham Zusi, Mike Chabala

    The Houston Dynamo downed Sporting Kansas City, 3-1, at Sporting Park on Friday night.

  14. WATCH: Will Bruin strikes the first goal for Houston Dynamo

    Aug 29, 2014, 10:49 PM EDT

    Will Bruin 3

    Will Bruin’s close-range finish put Houston ahead of Sporting Kansas City, 1-0.

  15. Orlando City SC’s Yordany Alvarez retires due to medical condition

    Aug 29, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT

    Diego Chara, Yordany Alvarez

    Orlando City SC midfielder Yordany Alvarez retired from professional soccer because of a medical condition.

  16. Portugal excludes Cristiano Ronaldo from roster of Euro 2016 qualifier

    Aug 29, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

    Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo bows his head as he reacts to a play during the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) AP

    Paulo Bento didn’t name Cristiano Ronaldo in his squad for Portugal’s Euro 2016 qualifier vs. Albania in early September.

  17. Watch Live: Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo (Lineups)

    Aug 29, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Houston Dynamo v Sporting Kansas City - Eastern Conference Championship - Leg 2 Getty Images

    Watch the MLS match between Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo live on NBCSN.

  18. UEFA looking to change Champions League seeding

    Aug 29, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    uefa Getty Images

    A new system would benefit domestic club winners by separating the teams into different pots.

  19. Van Gaal: Roy Hodgson ‘cannot judge’ Luke Shaw’s fitness

    Aug 29, 2014, 5:43 PM EDT

    louis van gaal Getty Images

    Louis van Gaal thinks Luke Shaw has been coping with his injury problems well.

  20. Arsene Wenger to be ‘as secret as possible’ over transfer deals

    Aug 29, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    wenger Getty Images

    The Arsenal manager will remain quiet to the media until the transfer window closes as rumors swirl around the Emirates.

Featured video

Breaking down Di Maria, Balotelli deals