Marouane Fellaini’s dream move to Arsenal has hit the rudders, with Arsene Wenger reportedly reluctant to trigger his £23million release clause.
The Gunners have been strongly tipped to make a move for the Belgian international, but Goodison Park sources claim no inquiry has yet been lodged.
Everton maintain they will not sell the 25-year-old for less than his £23m buy-out clause, leaving the door open for either Chelsea or Manchester United to swoop in ahead of the Gunners, who are dragging their heels.
Reports in Metro stated that :
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has made his admiration of the Belgian clear, and the Emirates club insist they have the funds in hand to make a major impact in the transfer market over the next three months
However, Wenger is unconvinced that £23m for Fellaini represents good value, and so far has not been prepared to commit to a bid that will trigger his release clause.
Last week, when unveiling Martinez, Everton chairman Bill Kenwright admitted there was nothing he could do if a Champions League club met that figure, and there is a resignation within Goodison that Fellaini will definitely leave if he is offered a move to the capital – his preferred choice.
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Yet it seems that Wenger’s reluctance to loosen Arsenal’s purse strings has given the Merseysiders fresh hope of holding onto their star player, despite that get-out clause.
There is bemusement at Everton about the north Londoners’ apparent desire to undercut that release clause and attempt to get Fellaini for less than the stated £23m.
Fellaini is understood to have his heart set on a move to London, but Arsenal are still mulling over whether to break their club transfer record for the midfielder.
David Moyes paid an Everton-record £15m on bringing the player on board from Standard Liege in 2008 – a fee that has since risen, with incentives, to almost £17m.
Wenger’s reported unwillingness to spend is all the more curious given the lavish praise he bestowed on Fellaini in November:
I think he is a good player. Everton’s offensive game turns around him. He is the target man they look for, and in recent years he is moving further forward. When he arrived at Everton he was more defensive.
Now he is more forward and it looks like he will finish centre-forward. He uses his body well, but he is not a dirty player. He is an intelligent player,Wenger admitted, on the eve of a Premier League tie at Goodison Park.
If we want him, we know the price, so why are we hearing that the Gunners are quibbling about the price? Do we really expect Everton to release their best player to a Premier League rival for less than they think he is worth.
I really hope this story is a piece of media misinformation or mere speculation. What do you think Gooners?