Heavyweights gear up for bidding war.
Manchester United are set to go head-to-head with Chelsea for Everton’s big-haired Belgian Marouane Fellaini.
The £20-million rated enforcer is wanted by both the European Champions and Real Madrid but Chelsea lead the race for his signature after making initial contact with Everton last month.
It has now emerged that Manchester United are also pursuing the 24-year-old and are prepared to enter a bidding war with the West Londoners. Madrid are monitoring the situation but would prefer to sign Tottenham’s Luka Modric and see the Belgium international as a secondary option.
Fellaini has made over 100 league appearances for Everton since joining from Standard Liege in 2008. Toffees boss David Moyes has consistently praised the giant midfielder – who stands at over 6’4″ – and expressed the belief that he can go on to be one of the finest players in the world.
The Scot would be reluctant to lose Fellaini but cash-strapped Everton are believed to be ready to sell for the right price.
Moyes has been left frustrated by the news that the Goodison Park club will also listen to offers for left-back Leighton Baines, who is also being targeted by United.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side need central reinforcements, with Darren Fletcher a victim of long-term illness and the club increasingly reliant on veteran Paul Scholes.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are embarking on a huge rebuilding operation this summer but remain vulnerable in midfield. Frank Lampard turned 34 yesterday, while John Obi Mikel has failed to live up to expectations.