Jose Mourinho triggers contract extension for his most maligned star
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has triggered a clause in Marouane Fellaini's contract that will keep the Belgian midfielder at Old Trafford until 2018.
Fellaini became a symbol of David Moyes’s doomed era as United manager, after he followed the Scottish tactician from Everton to Old Trafford in 2013 and struggled to make his mark in his stuttering team.
Fellaini was also a bit-part player during Louis van Gaal’s tenure at United and has started nine Premier League games under Jose Mourinho’s watch this season, with the club’s fans again criticising his performances in the first few weeks of this season.
After the midfielder gave away a penalty moments after coming on to the field in the 1-1 draw against December last month, Fellaini was jeered by the Old Trafford faithful in United's next home game and won this glowing endorsement from Mourinho.
“They have in their mind the mistake that Marouane did at Everton and no more than that,” said Mourinho, as he defended Fellaini after he was booed during the game against Tottenham last month.
“He is a player and a person I like and the person is more important. He will always have my trust and protection.
“He has a very strong mentality and has coped well. He knows he is a very important player for me.”
Fellaini scored a vital second goal for United in their 2-0 EFL Cup semi-final win against Hull on Tuesday night and now he has the guarantee of staying at United for another year at least.
It remains to be seen how United fans react to this news, with Fellaini struggling to convinced many of the club’s fans that he has the quality required to play for United.
Yet this decision confirms that Mourinho is determined to stand by the 29-year-old, as he looks to keep his current squad intact ahead of another splurge of spending in the transfer market next summer.
“I am convinced that in this winter market we will be sellers and not buyers,” Mourinho said to the Portuguese channel Sport TV.
“We want to raise pounds to attack in the summer, as we did this year with the contract of four players.”