Everton have turned down an improved offer from Manchester United for Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini.
The Daily Express claims that a £36m joint-bid for the pair was tabled by the champions earlier this week, but has now been rejected.
The new bid valued Belgium international Fellaini at £23.5m – the price of his now expired buy-out clause – and Baines at just over the £12m United have twice bid for him.
The Toffees have previously rejected a £12m bid for Baines and a £28m bid for both players, which they termed “derisory and insulting”.
The Daily Mail reports Fellaini, aged 25, has told the club that he wants to leave, although he has stopped short of handing in a formal transfer request.
However, the saga promised to hit Arsenal levels of transfer embarrassment for United, with David Moyes’ side now faced with the prospect of bidding more for Fellaini than Everton would have been forced to sell him for earlier this summer.