Man United boss David Moyes believes Everton should consider what is best for the careers of Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini before blocking the pair's proposed Old Trafford switch.
United have already had one £28m joint bid turned down but seem certain to go back with a higher offer before the transfer window closes on September 2.
Moyes' successor, Roberto Martinez, has already said he would not welcome the continued interest.
However, Moyes feels if the same situation had occurred last summer, when he was still at Goodison Park and Sir Alex Ferguson was still in the Old Trafford hot-seat, he would not have stood in the players' way.
"I definitely (have sympathy for Martinez)," Moyes told reporters.
"But I also know if I had been Everton manager and Sir Alex (Ferguson) had come asking for Baines and Fellaini I'd have found it very difficult to keep them.
"I always thought the right thing to do was the right thing for players."
Although United's present stance continues to treat Baines and Fellaini as a pair, there is an acceptance they made need to split the approach if Everton's resolve to keep Baines in particular does not weaken.
Former Toffees goalkeeper Neville Southall has been unimpressed by United's approach, accusing Moyes of lacking respect for his old club by trying to complete a cut-price deal.
Moyes is adamant that is not the case.
"There's a mixed market at the moment," said Moyes.
"Nobody's quite sure where the price is just now.
"We've had offers for players which we think are quite small. I can see where other clubs might be thinking there's not enough value for their players as well.
"There is no disrespect whatsoever. I respect Everton greatly and speak with (chairman) Bill Kenwright most weeks."
Having so far failed to bring in the expected reinforcements, minds are starting to get focused at Old Trafford.
Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil, a one-time target of Ferguson's, is the latest to be linked, whilst Cesc Fabregas has not completely disappeared off the radar, with the Old Trafford hierarchy waiting to see whether the former Arsenal skipper keeps his place at Barcelona.
There has also been talk of an attempt to secure Juan Mata in exchange for Wayne Rooney, although United sources have poured cold water on such an idea.
Whilst many Red Devils fans would accept the swap willingly, it appears executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward intends to keep Rooney at Old Trafford.
The argument is that with both Woodward and Moyes new in their roles, a statement has to be made that players will have no more power than they did in the Ferguson era, and by allowing Rooney to leave, even if it was favourable for United, it would send out the wrong signals.
And Moyes feels Rooney still has a significant role to play, which could involve starting against Chelsea on Monday.
"Wayne has recovered and has a good chance of starting," said Moyes.