David Moyes remains confident of signing Marouane Fellaini before the deadline while Chelsea have targeted Porto’s Jackson Martinez as an alternative to Rooney.

Manchester United Poised To Sign Marouane Fellaini

Marouane Fellaini has been linked with a move to Manchester United for long now. Many expected Sir Alex Ferguson to snap up the combative Belgian international last season to beef up his central midfield but eventually no such deal occurred. However, since David Moyes was announced as the man to step into Sir Alex’s shoes, talks regarding Fellaini’s move to Old Trafford intensified. The Afro haired Belgian joining the man who brought him over to England at his new club seemed like the most logical and obvious transfers of the summer.

But weeks have passed, United have been linked with a number of other central midfielders, critically a release clause in Fellaini’s contract expired in the meanwhile and still the Belgian remains in Everton’s books. All interest in Fellaini from United perspective have been academic till now with no official bid tabled yet. With only two weeks remaining till the closure of the transfer window, Everton manager Roberto Martinez has been making bullish statements about retaining his prized asset at the club.

“When you are in a strong position financially you will never sell a player for less than the buy-out clause. The buy-out clause gives you control as a buyer. We have had no approaches for Marouane Fellaini. We want to keep our best players. We want to improve window after window. If you lose players it’s harder.”

With Everton making their stance clear and given United have suffered only frustrations till now in all their major transfer pursuits in this window, a strong possibility have emerged that Fellaini may join the list of players whom United missed out on. However, fresh reports have emerged that David Moyes remains as confident as ever on landing Fellaini before we get to the deadline day. While no suitable explanation has been presented on United’s tardiness to come forward with an official offer for the midfielder till now, the news will still soothe some frayed nerves among fans who have become increasingly discontented with United’s failure to bring in players this summer.

The Belgian may not be in same league as Cesc Fabregas – seemingly United’s top transfer target this summer – but he still will considerably strengthen the central midfield, arguably the weakest department in the United squad. He may have excelled in an advanced role of support striker last season but by his own admission, his best position is as a defensive midfielder, something that United can desperately do with. With Fellaini in the team, for the first time since the departure of, whisper it, Roy Keane, United may have a physically dominant presence in the centre of the park.

Everton Eye Loan Move For Gareth Barry

If Everton are indeed set to sell Fellaini to United, it would be natural for them to plan for life after the Belgian. In this regard, credence is added to the above news piece by reports of an Everton approach for Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry, who is no longer considered indispensable at Eastlands.

Barry has been a regular first teamer ever since arriving at the club in the summer of 2009 and was instrumental in their title triumph two seasons back. His form though dipped last season as he fell out of contention from the England national squad. At 32, the consensus in that the former Villa midfielder’s best days are behind him. And now with City having a new managerial regime in place, it seems Barry does not figure overwhelmingly Manuel Pellegrini’s scheme of things. The club had spent big money in the close season on Brazilian international Fernandinho, who  looks set to usurp Barry from his midfield slot in the first team. Youngsters like Jack Rodwell and Javi Garcia, who were signed last summer are also expected to improve and increase competition for midfield berths. Under such circumstances, it does make sense for City to look to offload Barry who will enter the last year of his contract this season.

Everton, even though a step down coming from City, is an attractive proposition for Barry whose class and experience will be highly valued by manager Roberto Martinez. If Fellaini does indeed leave, Barry can expect to be the main man in the centre of midfield at Goodison Park. A new setting, a new manager and enhanced responsibilities may well reinvigorate the England international and if he can rediscover his past form, a recall to the national squad is not beyond imagination. With the World Cup looming in the horizon, this deal looks like one of the rare ones which potentially suits all parties.

Chelsea Target Jackson Martinez

Jose Mourinho may keep on harping “Rooney or bust” in front of the press regarding Chelsea’s transfer plans, but Manchester United’s steadfast refusal to even contemplate selling their star striker to a direct rival seems to have forced the west London club to look at possible alternatives. Reports suggest one such alternative may be Porto striker Jackson Martinez.

The Colombian international striker hit a rich vein of goalscoring form last season bagging 34 in 43 matches. Such impressive statistics have alerted the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Tottenham but it seems Chelsea will be the first club to make an official approach with the fee mooted to be £25 million. However with the player arriving at Porto only last season and being on a long term contract, that offer may well have to be revised upwards to get the Portuguese club to do business.

The fact that Chelsea is in desperate need of striker is no secret. The existing forwards at the club have clearly failed to sufficiently impress Mourinho; hence the desperate pursuit for Rooney. But United’s unwavering stance has in all probability left that particular deal dead in the water, so it makes sense that the club are making contingency plans. Martinez is an out-and-out goalscorer who should fit the bill at Chelsea. What Chelsea needs is someone who can finish off the chances that are bound to be created in plentiful by the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata. Jackson Martinez may just be that man.