Manchester United has opened negotiations with Everton over a deal for midfielder Marouane Fellaini, according to the Guardian.
New United boss David Moyes has moved for the Belgium international because he fears that his top target, Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas, could prove out of reach.
Moyes, who worked with the Belgian player at Everton after signing him from Standard Liege in 2008, is aware of the £23.5m buy-out clause in his contract, which expires on 15 August.
Since the departure of Paul Scholes, United has been searching for a replacement to reinforce their depleted midfield and with two offers for Barcelona Fabregas rebuffed, Moyes has got Fellaini and Luka Modric in his book, although a prospective deal for the two has been fraught with complications.
Meanwhile, new Everton boss Roberto Martinez insists he has not received any recent bids for either of England left-back Leighton Baines or Fellaini.
Martinez told Everton’s official website: “There are no bids. When you read that someone is interested in someone, it doesn’t mean there is a bid on the table.”
Fellaini, who has been reported to favour a possible reunion with his former boss at Old Trafford, scored 12 goals for Everton last season.