Jose Mourinho’s love story with Marouane Fellaini is a bigger one than Twilight. The Belgian is seldom far from the thoughts, or the good books, of his manager, which is a stark contrast to the vast majority of United fans.
He is doing more running down of his contract than mileage on the pitch currently, which will be music to many ears. Here is our lowdown on exactly why:
Mercenaries are not welcome
It is blatantly obvious that Fellaini is looking for one last Indian summer in terms of his salary. Having spurned a new four year deal due to the terms not reflecting his supposed status, Fellaini’s future appears to be away from United. Teams in Turkey, France, China and the States have all been earmarked with his signature, which says it all really.
The McTominay factor
The young Scot is slowly establishing himself in this United fold and has impressed in crunch games already against Sevilla, Liverpool and Chelsea. The remote odds of Fellaini staying would stunt his progress, though there is talk of a potential loan should two midfielders be recruited this summer. Most fans would opt for McTominay over Fellaini and he has a real chance of forging a career at United- that should not be jeopardised.
Memories of Moyes banished
After talk all summer in 2013 of Ronaldo, Fabregas and Bale, United were left beating the clock to secure Fellaini in what appeared one of the biggest acts of desperation ever witnessed and was a sign of things to come. It is perhaps a fraction harsh to label Fellaini a ‘Moyes symbol’ but it unfortunately comes with the territory and has stuck with him, even in Fellaini’s better moments at United.
No more operation hoofball
There is no doubt Fellaini has chipped in with some vital goals down the years, but one abiding memory of the Van Gaal era was sticking him up top with instinctive box players Rooney and Van Persie banished to central midfield in a diabolical 0-1 home defeat to West Brom. It was symptomatic of those days, if United were in a perilous situation, lump it to Fellaini- which seldom worked. United have far too many attacking riches now to resort to those tactics and surely they will not be utilised for a good while.
His face just didn’t fit
Granted, United have had some bruisers down the years but you just simply could not categorise what Fellaini was and is at United… A holding midfielder? No. Goalscoring midfielder? No. Number 10? No. And granted, for every Fellaini headbutt on Aguero and stray elbow smash, previously there has been a Haaland tackle produced by Keane. The difference? Keane was a leader and his importance was unquestionable. Right from the word go, you sensed Fellaini and United would not be a compatible fit and ultimately you would be hard pressed to argue against that.
In short, United did not envisage Fellaini becoming merely a squad player who would eventually chase the money.
For as much as Mourinho has placed his trust in him, there will be few bemoaning his inevitable exit.