Manchester United fans wait for their first marquee signing under the new David Moyes regime continues after Everton boss Roberto Martinez revealed Marouane Fellaini's release clause expired on 31 July.
It comes as another blow to Moyes, who last week failed to land Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas after two bids were rejected.
Everton had previously remained tight-lipped on speculation that a £22m bid would trigger a release clause in Fellaini's contract.
Martinez said: "As you can imagine, for a manager that gives you a real sense of celebration when that day arrives.
"I don't think I am giving away anything that nobody knows. It's well documented that Marouane's contract has a clause - that clause expired on 31 July."
The Belgian signed for the Toffees for £15m in 2008 from Standard Liege - and after an impressive few seasons in the Premier League, Everton were keen to tie down their star for the future and eventually penned down the 25-year-old on a five-year deal in November 2011.
Despite another blow for Moyes' transfer plans, the Scot remains upbeat with the club still working on several transfer targets.
Speaking at the launch of the new Premier League season, the new United boss told Sky Sports News: "We are involved in several players we are looking at and that will continue. Will we get them before the deadline? I hope so, but we are working very hard to do so."
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