Liverpool looking to offer Marouane Fellaini a three-year contract – reports

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is subject to interest from Premier League rivals Liverpool according to reports coming out of France. The Belgian is expected to leave the Theatre of Dreams this summer on the expiry of his contract, despite being offered a new contract at the club many months ago. United manager Jose Mourinho has spoken a few times about trying to get the physical midfielder to remain at the club, seemingly to no avail. Mourinho has previously said:

“Is he going to stay or leave? I don’t know. I want him to stay, the club want him to stay.

“The process – negotiations, numbers, distances between the offer and what he wants – I really don’t know.”

Fellaini signed for United from Everton on deadline day in the summer of 2013. David Moyes was linked with Cesc Fabregas, Toni Kroos, and many other top midfielders amid a summer of frustration which has seen no major arrivals by the time the sun rose on deadline day. Fellaini was available for £4 million less earlier that summer but executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward stuttered through the summer, making what seemed to be a £27.5 million panic buy hours before the window slammed shut.

During that season, it was evident that Fellaini was not going to be the signing United needed and supporters of the club soon started to resent him, and Moyes, who was sacked just after Easter in 2014. He did sign Juan Mata, with the help of Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and Jose Mourinho, the manager of Chelsea at the time. Mata instantly became the best signing Moyes had made for the club and it was not hard at the time. The Spanish magician did not even have to play a game to earn that title.

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During his time at United, Fellaini has played under Moyes, his former Everton manager, Ryan Giggs, Louis van Gaal and now Mourinho. Under the Portuguese, Fellaini has perhaps had his best seasons at the Theatre of Dreams but he has managed to remain as public enemy number one during this period too. Fellaini is like Marmite, you either love him or you hate him. He is not a favourite player of mine but I do respect what he has offered the club, especially last season when his goals were one of the reasons United made it to two finals.

Fellaini has made a total of 152 appearances for United, 95 starts and 57 substitute appearances, scoring a total of 19 goals, 0.12 goals per match. The Belgian, despite being the go-to guy for Mourinho at times and Van Gaal when his side used him as a makeshift striker, hoofing the ball up top and into Fellaini in the box, which did not always work out if it ever did. He was a problem playing further forward for Everton some years ago and that 4-4 draw against Everton saw him play some good football.

Life after United will be different for the Belgian, who has been linked with Besiktas, Paris Saint-Germain and more recently Roma, a team he is reportedly looking to sign for. The reports linking the player to Liverpool may be far-fetched. Fellaini is contracted to United until 23:59 BST on Saturday 30th June 2018. He can sign a pre-contract agreement with a club outside of the United Kingdom but will have to wait to agree on a move to a club such as Liverpool, meaning other teams outside of the UK will have more chance of agreeing on a contract with the player.

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Liverpool will need to find a replacement for Emre Can, who is out of contract himself this summer and tipped to leave Anfield at the moment, and Fellaini, despite not being that type of player Jurgen Klopp may go for, could be an option. I don’t think reports from L’Equipe in France about this are truthful. I would expect a Belgian newspaper to come out with something, being that the player is from Belgium, or even a journalist in the UK, but France, it seems like one of those rumours which get out there without real substance.

With Fellaini previously being an Evertonian, moving to Manchester United would have been bad enough for his former fans, but crossing the City to Liverpool would be the ultimate sin if he had any respect for his former club, both of them in fact. Frankly, I don’t care who Fellaini signs for. The fact that he is likely to leave United this summer is fine by me. He never quite hit it off at the club, was never given the best of starts with supporters expecting more and ending up with him.

The Belgian has done a lot at United, helping to win the Emirates FA Cup in 2016, the FA Community Shield the same year, followed by the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League in 2017. It may not be the best competitions the player has won in his time at United, but he has managed to lift trophies in his 11 years in the Premier League, the one thing that seems to have escaped him is the league title. Whilst Fellaini is free to choose which club he signs for, playing in the Premier League is something he has done for more than a decade so a fresh start away from England might be it.

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