By Mark Finlay
Former Everton manager and now Manchester United boss David Moyes is confident of being able to sign former player and Belgium international Marouane Fellaini, for United.
The 25-year-old midfielder had a buyout clause in his contract of £23 million, but it ran out at the end of July while United were still busy in their chase for Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez does not want to lose Fellaini trying to discourage United from approaching on Thursday.
He said: ‘When you are in a strong position financially you will never sell a player for less than the buy-out clause,’ said Everton’s manager. ‘The buy-out clause gives you control as a buyer. We have had no approaches for Marouane Fellaini.
‘Just because you have a clause it doesn’t mean you are stopped from putting a bid in for less money, that’s never been the case. If someone meets the valuation, you haven’t got a say as a club. As a manager, that worries you because you don’t have a decision to make.
‘I don’t want to be surprised that I am not losing a player. I think maybe clubs know he is very, very happy at Everton. I think this season, or this window is different in that a World Cup is just around the corner and sometimes players are quite happy not to unsettle their routine.
‘The World Cup is a big event and a player wants to carry on with your good routine from a football point of view and make sure you don’t gamble on changing that. We want to keep our best players. We want to improve window after window. If you lose players it’s harder.’