Long-serving Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has publicly conceded he is powerless to prevent Marouane Fellaini joining Manchester United this summer.
Speculation has been relentless in recent weeks with many suggesting David Moyes is keen on a re-union with the Belgian midfielder who he signed for a club record £16 million in 2008.
And Kenwright admitted that Moyes’ knowledge of Fellaini’s contract means he cannot stop the transfer if a bid were to come in.
On the possibility of Fellaini leaving, Kenwright said: “I’ve said to David [Moyes]: ‘We all know the situation at Everton. We all know there’s a player who’s got an escape clause, but the others are not for sale”.
“I’m as in love with this football squad as any Evertonian out there. They are this club and we don’t want them to go. They have worked massively hard for this club. Roberto doesn’t want them to go either. He’s got all of their phone numbers.
“He’s going to be on the phone to all of them saying: “We don’t want you to go.” And they don’t want to go. Not one person has even half-indicated to me that the change will mean a change for them. Exactly the opposite – they all seem totally committed to it.’
Fellaini’s release clause in his current contract, which expires in 2016, is quoted at around the £22 million mark and with finances tight at Goodison Park, Fellaini moving on could free up some much-needed capital for newly appointed Roberto Martinez whose free flowing football style would hardly compliment Fellaini’s Bullish approach.
Fellaini scored 11 league goals this term, playing in the #10 role and while he is the polar opposite of the intricate Shinji Kagawa, the 24-year-old was used to devastating effect with United struggling to deal with the powerhouse until Phil Jones man marked him out of the game at Old Trafford.
At United, Fellaini could bring the brawn that has been missing from the much-maligned engine room for some time. While he may not be the most technically gifted, his tackling ability would be a real asset with his superb display in a deeper holding midfield role at the Emirates in April serving as a perfect example of his effectiveness when deployed as a midfield destroyer.
He may be, at times, slightly agricultural in his approach but many would argue a player of Fellaini’s ilk is exactly what is required to revitalise the midfield and equip United with the necessary tools to compete better in Europe.
Such is his standing in the game, United will probably not be his only suitors however. After such an impressive season, both Arsenal and Cheslea have been linked with bids and there are strong rumours that Arsenal are in the process of activating the Belgian’s release clause.
Despite this, his good relationship with Moyes, coupled with the prospect of competing for honours domestically and in Europe, would most likely swing the deal in United’s favour if Moyes were to make a move.
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