Wednesday Kickoff: Man United after Fellaini; Barcelona offer for Chelsea’s Luiz; and more

MarouaneFellainiEverton1-Reading2013 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

There’s only 10 days left until the start of the 2013/2014 English Premier League season, and David Moyes has yet to sign anyone since taking over at Manchester United on July 1.

However, that could all change soon.

Man United are reportedly in talks with Moyes’ former club Everton to sign midfielder Marouane Fellaini. According to reports in England, the Belgian international’s contract has a buy-out clause of £23.5 million ($36.3 million). However, that clause expires on August 15, meaning that were Everton to sell Fellaini after that date they could drive the transfer fee even higher.

With the retirement of Paul Scholes for the second time, Man United are again without a whole lot of depth in central midfield, but bringing in Fellaini would be a major improvement in this area.

Last season, Fellaini appeared 36 times for Everton, scoring 12 goals in all competitions.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

BARCELONA MAKE OFFER FOR CHELSEA DEFENDER

With time running out before the end of the transfer window, Barcelona’s efforts to sign a new central defender have become serious.

According to reports out of England, the Spanish club have officially submitted a bid to Chelsea, thought to be in the region of €25 million ($33.2 million), for defender David Luiz. The Brazilian international has long been on the Blaugrana’s radar, but until now the club hadn’t made an official bid.

Luiz has had a stellar recent few months, winning the Europa League and Confederations Cup titles within two months of each other for Chelsea and Brazil, respectively. New manager Jose Mourinho is likely to reject any bid, saying recently during the London club’s tour of the USA that he is happy to have Luiz in the team.

LYON ADVANCES TO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAYOFF ROUND

Former UEFA Champions League group stage regular Lyon has gained a place in the final round of qualifying in this season’s Champions League.

The French club took a second 1-0 victory over Swiss side Grasshoppers to win, 2-0, on aggregate to progress to the playoff-round of qualifying. Clement Grenier scored the lone goal of the match in the 82nd minute, taking advantage of a 1-on-1 opportunity with the opposing goalkeeper to score.

Semifinalists in 2010, Lyon missed out on the Champions League completely last season.

In other results in Champions League qualifying on Tuesday, Maccabi Tel Aviv drew 3-3 with FC Basel, but fell on aggregate, 3-4, Fenerbahce defeated Red Bull Salzburg 3-1, 4-2 on aggregate, and Steaua Bucharest drew 1-1 with Dinamo Tbilisi, but advanced 3-1 on aggregate.

QUICK KICKS

Gareth Bale has been added to the Wales squad for their friendly match next week against the Republic of Ireland despite holding an injury. (REPORT)

Didier Drogba, fresh off a two-goal performance at the Emirates Cup, has been recalled to the Ivory Coast squad for their friendly at MetLife Stadium next Wednesday against Mexico. (REPORT)

After failing a drug test taken in June, an unidentified Jamaican National Team player has been provisionally suspended for 30 days by FIFA. (REPORT)

Chelsea have sent 18-year-old Chilean Cristian Cuevas to Vitesse in Holland on-loan for the season. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Fellaini moving to Man United? Do you believe Luiz would move to Barcelona? Do you see Lyon advancing to the group stage?

Share your thoughts below.

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18 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Man United after Fellaini; Barcelona offer for Chelsea’s Luiz; and more

  1. Old School says:

    I really don’t understand the sale of David Luiz at this point, unless Mourinho doesn’t have plans for him going forward.

    Luiz was an absolutely moron with tons of talent his first few years at Chelsea. However, he seems to have matured, realized he’s not a striker playing on the backline and toned down his boneheaded distribution significantly.

    Would be odd to sell him now that’s finally settled in.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      david luiz is one of my favorite players simply because he plays like soccer is a game, not a job (you can tell i’m not a chelsea fan).

      he doesn’t seem like a typical ‘mourinho’ CB, so if terry and cahill are the two starters, with ivanovic able to fill in, i think luiz gets sold if barca ups their bid to ~35m (euro). that money could buy another promising young CB, with probably 15m left over.

      • Old School says:

        This is true. I guess it really just depends on what Terry can give you in the short-term.

        Personally, I think Luiz and Cahill are better to go forward with but there’s more layers to that obviously (history of Terry/Mourinho and Terry being a folk hero at Stamford Bridge).

      • biff says:

        ‭The guy is good, no doubt about that. But, man, he has a mean streak, verging on being a j*rk. Like with Chelsea up 4-0 against third tier team Brentford and an elbow in the face of some kid. Absolutely no reason to do it except for…

  2. Old School says:

    I like David Moyes a lot but the United faithful are going to eat him alive if they get off to a slow start. He and the board have absolutely whiffed on every transfer target they’ve gone after to this point.

    I can’t stand United but I do want to see Moyes do well. It’s conflicting.

    • biff says:

      ‭The whole Wayne Rooney mess is hanging over Moyse right now. I am surprised that Sir Alex okayed bringing in Moyse without first getting rid of Rooney. And if Man U wanted to keep Rooney they should have never brought in Moyse. Those two guys have a long history of not getting along and I doubt that they are going to ever be buddies. Best thing for Man U to do now is let Rooney wherever he wants and fast.

    • DR7_Liverpool_ says:

      Agree that they needed to buff out that midfield, way to go MUFC

      That SAF shadow is going to overwhelm him imho

    • RK says:

      Just like the way they wanted De Gea gone after one match last year.

  3. RK says:

    I can’t believe Barcelona has left it this late to acquire a new central defender. It’s going to hurt them greatly.

  4. E says:

    Not to split hairs, but didn’t Moyes sign Varela from Uruguay?

    • Old School says:

      I could be mistaken but I believe it was Ferguson and staff who brought him in, at least on trial, while he was still manager.

      Although, I believe no signing was completed until Moyes was manager…I don’t really consider that to be a “Moyes signing” but that’s also splitting hairs.

      • David says:

        You are correct. That deal was done before Moyes was officially named as manager. So far, Moyes has failed to get Fabregas, which was never likely to work anyway, and not put the Rooney issue to rest one way or the other. He also attempted to get Leighton Baines and failed on that one, too. The team hasn’t lit up their pre-season games either, so he might be emulating Sir Alex in getting off to a slow start at the club.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          and thiago

        • Nate Dollars says:

          ‘emulating Sir Alex in getting off to a slow start at the club’

          not that pre-season means anything, but i think slow starts have always been a david moyes thing, too.

  5. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    Ferguson bought Varela. And he’s a young inexperienced kid, not a “signing” in the “Get The Fans Excited” kind of way. I find it hard to believe that a team as big as United have a hard time getting the big players in that they want. As for Cesc, I get it – Barca is his boyhood team and he was desperate to move there for three years. Hard to see him leave after only two seasons. Fellani may not be the top tier world class player they want but I definitely think he’s an improvement or at least a great addition to what they have. With Bale stating on many occasion that Giggs is his idol, why aren’t they going after him?

  6. John says:

    Word is if ManU get Fellaini then Everton plan on going after Bradley as a replacement. Which I think would be a good move if De Rossi ends up staying at Roma.

    • SanFran415 says:

      Good for Bradley for sure. If De Rossi stays Bradley can kiss significant minutes goodbye.