Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been dealt a major blow this month, after his trusted midfielder told him that he wants to leave the club and won’t sign a new deal.
Marouane Fellaini recently rejected the chance to sign a contract extension, and is believed to be seeking a new challenge elsewhere. The 30 year-old is out of contract in the summer, and is free to agree terms with foreign sides in January, moving at the end of the season for nothing.
A lack of playing time could be behind the Belgian’s motivation to quit United. Fellaini has been used sparingly during an injury-hit campaign, racking up just 578 minutes of football in all competitions – starting just four of 13 appearances. Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera are all ahead of him in the pecking order too.
Nevertheless, him leaving would be a blow for the manager, given how hard he worked to turn his career around at Old Trafford, frequently giving him appearances off the bench, as well as building him up in the media.
The Sun says he’s currently on £120k-per-week, and turned down a two-year deal on similar terms, which Manchester United have no plans to improve. As a result, Fellaini could be on his way out this month or next summer. Mourinho will want to make money off the former Everton midfielder, but his contract expiring in six months makes it hard to extract much value.
He came to Old Trafford for £29m in 2013 under ex-manager David Moyes, and has gone on to make 146 appearances, scoring and creating 29 goals. Fellaini has also represented the Belgian national team on 80 occasions, netting 16 times for his country.