MANCHESTER United completed a last-ditch deal for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, as they attempted to spare manager David Moyes’s blushes in an otherwise frustrating transfer window.
United failed to sign top target Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona earlier this summer and were yesterday also blunted in their pursuits of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao and Everton left-back Leighton Baines.
However, with the champions looking unlikely to add to their squad, Fellaini completed his £27.5m move late last night after the Belgium midfielder handed in a transfer request to help force the move through.
With the 11pm deadline approaching Moyes then made a loan bid for Real Madrid’s Portugal left-back Fabio Coentrao. Initial optimism that agreement had been reached gradually faded and it was unclear late last night whether United would be able to push through the transfer.
United’s failure to sign Herrera was seemingly due to an unwillingness to meet the 24-year-old’s £30.5m buyout clause.
However, in a bizarre twist last night it emerged that three apparent impostors had attempted to negotiate with Athletic on United’s behalf, with neither authorisation nor success.
Everton allowed Fellaini to move to Old Trafford after completing the £13m signing of midfielder James McCarthy from Wigan and then moved for Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry on loan.
Striker Romelu Lukaku joined the pair at Goodison Park on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
West Brom had been keen on signing the 20-year-old Belgium striker, however, Lukaku was persuaded to snub a return to the Hawthorns, where he spent last season on loan, by Toffees manager Roberto Martinez.
The Baggies did though complete the signings of Everton’s Victor Anichebe for £6m, Stephane Sessegnon from Sunderland for £5m, plus a deal to take Morgan Amalfitano from Marseille, but blocked Hull’s attempt to sign Shane Long.