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Opinion Piece

Martinez wants an end to speculation as United make new bid

Roberto MartinezRoberto Martinez believes it’s time the powers-that-be sorted out the timing of the summer transfer window to end unhelpful speculation surrounding players.

Martinez was speaking generally in a press conference about how disruptive it is to have transfers available while the season was open and I couldn’t agree more.

He was reacting after United tabled an improved £36m joint-bid for Fellaini and Baines earlier this week but had it swiftly rejected.

The new bid valued Belgium international Fellaini at £23.5m – the price of his now expired buy-out clause – and Baines at just over the £12m United have twice bid for him.

The Toffees have previously rejected a £12m bid for Baines and a £28m bid for both players, which they termed “derisory and insulting”.

Many United fans have criticised the club’s decision-making during the summer leading me personally to castigate such premature negativity but, if the club increase their bid for Fellaini above it’s current value, then it’s difficult to defend and entering the realms of embarrassing.

Fellaini’s buy-out clause expired at the end of July and, obviously believing they could get their man for less (and possibly Moyes preferring not to disrespect Everton) United chose to let it run down. That decision looks to have been an error of judgement and could carelessly cost the club a hefty percentage of the profit in one of its new sponsorship deals they’ve so keenly secured this summer.

I strongly believe Moyes wanted to avoid returning to his old club to pilfer their star players out of respect for ex-employer and close friend, Bill Kenwright, but his hesitancy and apparent incompetence and mis-reading of situations instead leaves United wide open to ridicule as they ultimately decide to do last minute business with a club whose defences are well and truly deployed anyway.

There are however exonorating circumstances; although I don’t expect many to accept them. Wayne Rooney, Jose Mourinho and the Premier League fixture machine.

At the beginning of the summer I wrote that Moyes needed to remove Rooney from the club as a matter of urgency or risk having his [Rooney’s] future dismantle his first and most important few months at the club. Add to that Mourinho’s acceptably public pursuit of Rooney and the unfortunate timing of our match against his Chelsea side last week, after which, United were expecting another bid for a player they were unsure of keeping, it’s hardly surprising United have found it difficult to plan their actions with 100% conviction.

The only way United could worsen the situation for themselves would be to offer Wayne Rooney a new contract, that would really cap a forgettable close season off.