It emerged yesterday that the Goodison outfit last week rejected the £28m approach for the duo
Everton FC are braced for an improved bid from Manchester United for Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini after dismissing as “derisory and insulting” a £28m offer for the pair.
It emerged yesterday the Goodison outfit last week rejected the approach for the duo from their Old Trafford rivals, who are now led by former Everton manager David Moyes.
The deal saw Baines, for whom Everton turned down a bid from United earlier this summer, valued at £12m with Fellaini the remaining £16m – just two weeks after the Belgian’s £23.5m buy-out clause had expired.
Although the fee would ultimately have risen to £30m, Goodison officials were outraged at the offer, which was made by United chief executive Ed Woodward last Thursday, and view it as a thinly-veiled attempt to unsettle the pair.
While Everton are keen to keep Baines, manager Roberto Martinez admitted last week he would consider realistic offers for Fellaini with the club valuing the 25-year-old far in excess of the £17.5m they ultimately paid Standard Liege for his services.
And their demands for an increased fee are exacerbated further by the fact Liege are entitled to 20% of any fee Everton recoup.
An Everton statement said yesterday: “Everton can confirm that it has received bids from Manchester United for two players. Those bids were immediately rejected out of hand as derisory and insulting.
“The club did not make public these details as it was vital Roberto Martinez’s preparations for the opening game of the Premier League season were not disrupted in anyway.”
Both Baines and Fellaini played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as Martinez began his reign with a 2-2 draw at Norwich City in Everton’s Premier League opener.
While Ross Barkley claimed the headlines with a man-of-the-match performance and blistering goal, he was closely followed by Seamus Coleman who provided Barkley’s assist before notching himself.
Coleman suggested throughout pre-season he was ready to build on his impressive end to the previous campaign, and has earned plaudits from his new manager who believes the best is yet to come from the 24-year-old.
“He is still a young man but it is getting to a point now where he is very, very mature,” said Martinez.
"With the Republic of Ireland the other day, having the armband for 10 or 15 minutes shows you what the manager thinks of him.
“He is a pristine young man whose best years are still to come. He has an incredible ability going forward and he works hard at his game. Clearly he hasn’t fulfilled his potential yet.
Barkley, meanwhile, has expressed his delight having notched his first-ever goal for the club with a thunderous 20-yard strike – and that it was a premonition of young team-mate John Stones.
“I am buzzing to have scored my first goal for Everton,” said the 19-year-old.
“I ran to the crowd and everyone was celebrating and going mad. I hadn't even thought about a celebration. “Before the game Stonesy (John Stones) was saying he thought I was going to score!
“I have scored a few with my left foot when I was younger so I’m not afraid to hit them with my left.” Of the game, Barkley added: “It was frustrating in the end, I thought we should have got three points from the first game of the season.
“But it was a positive performance from the lads. We created lots of chances and they were lucky – if you see their second goal, the lad (Steven Whittaker) has hit it and it obviously wasn’t a cross but unfortunately for us it went straight to a Norwich player.
“There were loads of plus-points and we are going to be positive going into the next game at Goodison.”