Manchester United manager David Moyes is poised to turn his attention to Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini after accepting defeat in his pursuit of Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas.
The Spanish champions rejected two offers for the former Arsenal midfielder and Moyes yesterday accepted that it was unlikely that another offer would be made for the 26 year old.
"I couldn't tell you if there will be another bid [for Fabregas]," said Moyes. "I never said at any time that we would get him. We've made offers that have been rejected and we'll take stock from there and consider what we're going to do next."
With Manchester United having first missed out on Thiago Alcantara, who decided to leave Barcelona for Bayern Munich, and now accepted defeat in the pursuit of Fabregas, Moyes may well be forced to turn his attention to a player he knows extremely well from his time at Everton.
Fellaini has consistently been linked with a move away from Goodison Park this summer, despite confirming that he was excited about working under Everton's new manager Roberto Martinez.
The Belgium international has a release clause which is believed to be in the region of £22m, however, numerous publications have reported that the figure will rise after a certain date in August.
Belgian publication RTBF believe that Moyes is now prepared to meet the buyout clause and that a deal could be concluded within the next 48 hours.
Fellaini has often spoke in glowing terms about his relationship with Moyes and should the release clause be met, then it is extremely unlikely that the 25 year old would turn down the opportunity to once again work with Scot.
"I want to go to a club where the manager really wants me . In 2008, Everton did everything to make me come, especially David Moyes. It has made me the player I am now," said Fellaini, as quoted in RTBF.
Manchester United are clearly keen to address their problems in midfield this summer which have been heightened by the retirement of Paul Scholes, and the continued absence of Darren Fletcher.
While Fellaini is a very different midfielder to Fabregas or Thiago, he has proved during his time at Everton that he can be a genuine goal threat ,whilst also offering plenty of protection to his defenders.