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Marouane Fellaini to leave Manchester United for a new challenge this summer?

Manchester United are reportedly set to lose Marouane Fellaini, who will be seeking a new challenge, this summer. The Belgian midfielder has seen his contract run into the final six months meaning that he is free to negotiate with foreign clubs ahead of a move as a free agent. United have offered Fellaini a new contract but a report by Neil Custis of The Sun has stated that the Belgian midfielder has refused to new deal at the Old Trafford club and will move to pastures new.

United jetted off to Dubai on a warm weather training camp earlier on Monday and United manager Jose Mourinho may use the time he will spend with Fellaini to try and change his mind, but right now the Belgian will leave the Old Trafford club after five years. It was back in September when United offered Fellaini a new contract, which was a two-year contract with the option of a further year with a weekly wage of £120,000 which also included a greater incentive package. That may not have been good enough to keep the player at the Theatre of Dreams.

It is understood that United will not make another offer to keep the player. In all certainty, the player may have seen an opportunity to make history elsewhere. He has been subject of interest from Paris Saint-Germain in recent months and being a free agent will open the doors for other clubs in the Premier League and in Europe in the summer. The player may be seeking to secure his future elsewhere ahead of Belgium travelling to Russia for the FIFA World Cup, if he is picked for the squad, then able to settle in at his new club before the new season starts.

Fellaini has been on the sidelines through injury recently, making his first appearance for his club since late November in the 2-0 victory over Derby County in the Emirates FA Cup on Friday evening. This season in the Premier League, Fellaini has made nine appearances, scoring three goals. He has a 100% shot accuracy and has created four chances for his teammates. His pass accuracy stands at 83% with the average length of his passes being around 15 metres. The Belgian averages at least two defensive actions per match, also making one defensive error this season.

Many supporters did not want to see Fellaini come to the club in the summer of 2013 and will see him as a David Moyes panic buy. Under Jose Mourinho, Fellaini has been a different player. His physical aspect of the game will be missed, not that many of his opponents will miss his flailing elbows. Last season will be Fellaini’s finest, making 47 appearances and one of the key figures to United UEFA Europa League victory. Under Louis van Gaal, Fellaini’s presence in the team was for long balls, which mostly did not work.

It will be a shame to see the big Belgian leave the club, especially on a free but things need to change at United and because of that, there is no sentiment in football. I obviously wish Fellaini all the best for his new challenge, whatever that may be but right now I feel this will be a big loss as United’s midfield has seemed somewhat flimsy whilst Fellaini has been out of the picture. When Paul Pogba was injured and suspended, at a time when Fellaini was injured, United lacked a midfield to win matches, let alone dominate them.

With a player such as Fellaini seemingly leaving the club, it is clear United will need to recruit in the summer. Mourinho has already suggested that two to three players may leave the club in the summer and they will be replaced. They will need to be replaced with players who are deemed ready to break straight into the squad and achieve or United will fall further behind Manchester City and possibly other clubs in the Premier League and beyond. Replacing players that leave is the minimum, United also need to recruit to add more depth and experience. Mourinho will know this.

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