“Everton can confirm that it has received bids from Manchester United for two players. Those bids were immediately rejected out of hand as derisory and insulting,” said Everton’s director of communications Alan Myers. “The club did not make public these details as it was vital Roberto Martinez’s preparations for the opening game of the Premier League season were not disrupted in any way.” That both players started Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Norwich underlines the fact neither is in dispute with the Toffees. However, it could easily be argued that the duo would welcome the opportunity of a move to the reigning champions and, having so far failed to reinforce his squad, it would be a major surprise if Moyes backed away so quickly. Indeed, it could be argued the offer was only in line with the first £20million bid made by Chelsea for Wayne Rooney in the middle of last month which the Blues are tipped to increase still further with a third bid before turning their attentions elsewhere. A further move for Fellaini could be anticipated on the strength of Moyes’ assessment earlier in the summer that United do need to bolster their central midfield options. United’s chase for Cesc Fabregas is yet to be abandoned. Realistically though, with the former Arsenal skipper starting Barcelona’s 7-0 rout of Levante on Sunday night, the chances of Fabregas exiting the Nou Camp this month are remote. Fellaini might not have shown Fabregas’ game-changing abilities. At Premier League level though, the Belgian is an effective performer, and with a date for Darren Fletcher’s return to fitness as yet unknown, Moyes currently only has three central midfielders, plus 39-year-old Ryan Giggs, to choose from. United manager David Moyes has been keen to bring both players to Old Trafford following the Scot’s own summer move from Everton. But it is clear he will need to offer substantially more than the respective £12million and £16million for Baines and Fellaini which is believed to have been the split for the offer, which was lodged at the end of last week. The pursuit of Baines is possibly a more puzzling one. Patrice Evra has recovered to something like his old form after a difficult 2011-12 campaign. At 32, he is one of United’s most experienced players and was named captain in Nemanja Vidic’s absence over the past two seasons. The only time in recent memory the Red Devils had two experienced full-backs vying for the same position was 2006-07, when Evra and Gabriel Heinze went head to head. Wes Brown filled in for Gary Neville at right-back the following season but he was more naturally a centre-half. The rest of the time, a younger player has tended to be the stand-in, so if Baines did eventually join United, it would seem obvious for Evra to move on, even if Moyes has previously insisted that would not happen. Manchester United look certain to return with a higher offer after Everton branded their £28million joint bid for Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini as “derisory and insulting”. Press Association
CHAMPIONS LEAGUEAnother Mohamed Salah master-class helped Liverpool take control of their Champions League semi-final 5-2 but two late Roma away goals gave the Italian side a glimmer of hope for the second leg.Liverpool, who last reached the final in 2007, repeatedly breached the visitors’ naively high defensive line and scored five times in the opening 68 minutes at a raucous Anfield. Salah, who has now scored 43 goals since his summer move from Roma, scored twice and assisted two other goals.He curled his first into the top corner from the edge of the box – then clipped the ball over Alisson for a second.Salah then ran down the right and squared for Sadio Mane to make it 3-0 – before doing the same to set up Roberto Firmino.Firmino then headed in a fifth following James Milner’s corner.With his side leading 5-0, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp took off Salah – and Roma gave themselves a chance for next week’s return leg at the Stadio Olimpico.First Edin Dzeko lashed home from Radja Nainggolan’s pass, then Diego Perotti put a penalty into the top right corner after Milner handled Nainggolan’s shot.Roma need only look to the last round for inspiration, when they lost the first leg in Barcelona 4-1 before winning 3-0 in Roma. A repeat of the latter scoreline this time would take them into the final against Bayern Munich or Real Madrid who meet in the other semi final first leg clash at the Allianz Arena in Munich.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
That means Sinead Jennings and Claire Lambe and Cork brothers Gary and Paul O’Donovan will have to wait to compete in their semi finals.In swimming this evening, Fiona Doyle goes in the heats of the Women’s 200m Breaststroke at around ten to six.In sailing, Annalise Murphy is in second place overall ahead of Races 5 and 6 in the Women’s Laser Radial, which will get underway at five fifteen. Carlow’s Finn Lynch is back in 24th place in the Men’s Laser class ahead of his two races this evening.Joe Ward faces an opponent from Ecuador in the Men’s Light Heavyweight division at around quarter to eleven this evening.