Manchester United have failed to complete plans A, B or C this summer – so now David Moyes has been forced to resort to plan D.
The Red Devils' manager valued Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines at a combined £28m – Everton, of course, did not – and recently submitted a bid worth that amount in a late attempt to strengthen his squad.
Since that bid was rejected, Moyes has urged his former employers to allow the Toffees' duo to move to the Premier League champions, for the good of the players.
But, in all honesty, Fellaini and Baines are not worth the hassle – or the money.
There's no denying that both players have performed fantastically well at Goodison Park in recent seasons – especially last term – but are they really what Manchester United need right now?
All three are wonderfully gifted footballers, equipped with an excellent range of passing - unlike Fellaini, whose distribution is not exactly his strongest attribute.
The Belgium international is an excellent player in his own right, but it's worth noting that he flourished under Moyes last season while playing in an advanced role, and sometimes even as the team's striker.
The last thing Manchester United need right now is a tall, powerful No. 10 who can double up as a makeshift targetman. For starters they already have a wealth of options in this area, and secondly it encourages an ugly brand of direct football.
Everton, at times last season, relied on lumping the ball up to Fellaini, who would cause havoc in the opposition penalty box before bringing it down – admittedly, wonderfully well with his chest – and attempting to strike at goal.
Effective for some teams, perhaps, but not for a team challenging for major honours both domestically and in Europe – and certainly not for Manchester United, who are famed for their exciting, attacking style of play.
Moyes should look elsewhere to bolster his midfield options - or save the cash until January, when another option could become available.
Baines, meanwhile, would be a no-brainer – if he was five years younger.
United's current left-back Patrice Evra showed last season that he still has a good couple of years left in him, while Baines will turn 31 in 2015.
A much better alternative would surely be Southampton's 18-year-old starlet Luke Shaw, who looks destined to become one of the finest left-backs in Europe.
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