Reports are flying around that Arsenal have placed a £22m bid for Everton’s Belgium international, Marouane Fellaini. The bid is said to have been tabled on Wednesday, just about the time Everton were announcing the appointment of their new manager, Roberto Martinez.
It’s widely known that Fellaini has a get-out clause in his contract that can be activated at £22m by a top four club – the Belgian has always been clear about wanting to play in the Champions League.
It must be stressed that this hasn’t yet been verified by the clubs involved, but it comes just after Arsenal chief executive, Ivan Gazidis was quoted as saying that the Gunners are now ready to join the big boys in the transfer and wages department.
He told the Independent: “This year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time, which is the escalation in our financial firepower.”
He also stated in the interview that Arsenal had no “philosophical” objection to spending the sort of transfer money that the other top four clubs have regularly splashed out, even hinting that the club would be prepared to relax its wage structure, if necessary.
By now all Arsenal fans will be thinking they’re in the midst of a dream, so let’s get back to a semblance of reality. Even if the report is true and we’ve actually bid for Fellaini, it would likely be just an opening shot. The chances are that other teams would enter the race and push the price up to a level Arsenal might not feel comfortable matching.
But Arsene Wenger is a long time fan of the Everton player. He would have noted his versatility as an effective attacking midfielder and his strong on-field physical presence. In fact, the Belgian’s reported favourite position is as a defensive midfielder. Which is just what we need. Could this be why no move has yet been made for any of the other DMs said to be available?
It has also been suggested that Fellaini was a certainty to join his old boss, David Moyes at Man United. That’s still, of course, possible. But maybe Moyes has an agreement not to poach any of his ex players – at least for a certain period from the appointment. Or maybe this is Arsene’s way of telling Moyes “Hands off Fabregas!”
Either way, it seems it’s not just the weather that’s hotting up.