Marouane Fellaini continues to be linked with a move away from Manchester United, with AC Milan ready to make a move in the January transfer window.
The Belgian international has fallen out of favour in recent weeks after he gave away a costly penalty in the 1-1 draw with Everton, a challenge former United great Gary Neville labelled ‘garbage’ and ‘pathetic’. United dropped two vital points but Mourinho backed Fellaini and insisted “he will always have my protection and trust.” Unfortunately for Fellaini, he has not started a match since and has only been on the field for a total of eleven minutes in Manchester United’s last three Premier League fixtures.
So when the 29-year-old was pictured out and about in Milan with his brother Mansour, it only added fuel to a fire that suggests he is close to the Old Trafford exit door.
Don't know beyond the picture of Fellaini in Milano, but a lot of players also go there to go shopping may not be transfer related https://t.co/CB7wScan5p
— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) December 20, 2016
Fellaini’s presence in the city is hardly enough to confirm any truth in these rumours, but given his lack of playing time in recent weeks and Manchester United’s return to form without him, there is plenty to suggest his time at the club may be over. United have won three straight Premier League matches and have closed the gap between themselves and the top four, reigniting their season’s fortunes. With the January transfer window just a couple of weeks away, Marouane Fellaini might become the first casualty of the Jose Mourinho revolution.
If United were to sell, they would most likely take a hit financially. After overpaying for him three years ago, Ed Woodward faces an uphill battle to recoup the entire £27million fee they paid out to Everton in 2013. Milan want to loan the player initially, with an option to buy Fellaini next summer should the move prove successful. United are keen to sell him now though, as he only has 18 months remaining on his contract and any resale value would diminish once he enters the final twelve months of his current deal. So prepared are they to move him on, Manchester United will not be offering the player a new contract and are not interested in improving the player’s staggering wages of £120,000-per-week.
After being linked with a move to West Ham United earlier this month, the news that Milan are interested in taking Fellaini to Italy comes as an early Christmas gift to most Manchester United supporters. He wasn’t able to connect with a fan base that never really wanted him at the club to begin with. To a lot of fans, Fellaini represents both the failures of the Moyes era and the boredom and lethargy of the van Gaal regime. For some, the exit cannot come soon enough for a man who has inexplicably racked up 109 appearances for the club in a little over three years. He has scored 13 goals in a truly disappointing spell as a Manchester United player.
When he arrived at the club, Jose Mourinho was tasked with returning Manchester United to the pinnacle of world football. To begin that process, he has been aggressive and purposeful with his recruitment. Now he must do the same when removing the deadwood from within his squad. Perhaps it is appropriate that Fellaini could be first on his way out, a man more commonly known to United fans as ‘the tree’.