£35m must be minimum if Man Utd want Baines and Fellaini

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Arsenal’s lack of transfer activity this summer has stolen the bulk of the headlines after the opening weekend of Premier League action, but Manchester United could still arguably do with bolstering their own midfield ranks.

It is no surprise that after the failed attempts to bring in Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas, David Moyes has been linked with Marouane Fellaini, although the joint offer of £28m for the Belgian and Leighton Baines is ludicrously weak. Yet, the price is 5/2 that both are at Old Trafford before the end of the transfer window, with 11/5 on offer that neither make the jump from Everton.

The belief is that Man Utd are valuing Fellaini at £16m in this offer and although he is not a logical fit in the playing style of Roberto Martinez, an offer closer to £25m is likely to be needed.

Certainly if Moyes was still Everton manager, he wouldn’t be allowing Fellaini to leave for pretty much the same sum as which he was bought back in 2008.

The £12m valuation of Baines is a lot fairer, given that the left-back is at the peak of his career at 28.

Whether Man Utd should be spending this much on a left-back given their pressing need for midfielders is a separate debate, but it cannot be argued that Baines’ forward-running manner is perfect for Moyes’ particular style.

Given that Fellaini also had a £23.5m buy-out clause expire in his contract earlier this summer, Man Utd must know that their offer is especially tight, but if it achieves some success in unsettling the Everton pair, it will have served its purpose.

In reality, Everton are unlikely to do business for anything less than £35m for the duo, although knowing the club’s track record for driving a hard bargain, somewhere closer to £40m is expected to be the final value. If Fellaini and Baines do depart for Man Utd in a joint deal, it is 8/11 that the total price paid is over £35m.

Losing Fellaini and Baines would have big implications on Everton’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League top six for the second successive season, while the extra physicality and strength provided by Fellaini could be an asset for Man Utd in their quest to retain the title.

Despite their impressive win at Swansea, Man Utd remain third favourites to win the Premier League at 12/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.