It has been well documented today that Manchester United manager David Moyes has begun a raid on his former employers to sign Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines for a combined fee of £28 million - an approach that was almost instantly rejected by Everton and described as "derisory and insulting" in a club statement.
With commentators unanimous in the view that this figure is some way off the mark, a transfer saga could be developing that could run until the close of the transfer window at 23:00 BST, September 2.
There is time to consider the question as to whether David Moyes should even be looking to Everton for ways to improve his current side.
First of all, the act of football managers re-signing former players has been a staple move for many within the modern era of a commercialised game, transfer windows and the widening appeal of the Premier League.
Within this window alone, Roberto Martinez, Moyes’ successor at Goodison Park, has acquired three players from the Wigan Athletic side he led to FA Cup glory and unfortunately, relegation despair during the 2012/13 season.
The resulting reaction from the media, as is often the case with managers re-signing players, was mixed, with The Daily Mail, for example, running with the headline 'Are you Wigan in disguise?'
It can be seen that in adopting a similar approach to the transfer window, David Moyes risks being faced with the same critics that threatened to mar Everton’s pre-season and opening weekend; The Daily Mail has suggested that “if Martinez thinks his Wigan favourites are going to provide the foundations for a Champions League charge, he will need to think again”.
As a result, David Moyes may be wise to steer clear from the Everton pair of Baines and Fellaini for similar reasons, with an inevitable swell of criticism from those who still require convincing that he is the correct appointment to replace Sir Alex Ferguson.
However if David Moyes was able to secure the services of Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini would it really show a lack of ambition and ‘lazy’ transfer activity, as suggested towards the mentioned Martinez raid of Wigan?
Like Martinez, David Moyes has targeted players that he evidently sees as having the potential to make the step up to play in an arguably more difficult environment due to the increased pressure associated to each example and in Baines and Fellaini, Moyes knows exactly what he is getting.
The main advantage of re-signing the former players for Moyes is that he has seen the Everton pair train, play and develop into fully fledged international players for two of Europe’s most talented sides, England and Belgium respectively. As a result, the new United boss is able to have a far greater idea as to how the players will fit into his inherited team than any scouting network could have provided.
This suggests that, in theory at least, the learning curve for both potential signings, should a fee be agreed, should be far easier than for players bought from another club, as both player and manager would have an instant appreciation for what is expected from each other.
Therefore, despite the inevitable backlash from critics that may suggest an Everton raid may show panic on the part of David Moyes, securing the Blues duo at the right price would represent a very astute move from the man who replaced Sir Alex Ferguson.
As well as the quality of the players and the easier integration into the managers’ plans, as discussed, a successful double swoop for Baines and Fellaini would be the first step to stamping a new identity on the Old Trafford giants.
The two players would be seen as the first high-profile wave of post-Ferguson stock, an idea vital for the new boss to enjoy any success as his own, rather than that of Ferguson’s shadow that lingers over the trophy room at United.
With plenty of time left in the transfer window, only time will tell if Manchester United will return for a further attempt to sign the Everton pair but one thing can be assured, an increase on the £28 million offer will be required to turn the head of the new Everton manager and perhaps lead The Daily Mail to ask ‘are you Everton in disguise?’
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