Friday 19 January 2018

Marouane Fellaini to reject David Moyes' Sunderland and fight for his place at Man United

Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini
Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini

Mark Ogden

Marouane Fellaini is ready to reject the opportunity be reunited with David Moyes at Sunderland and fight for first-team football at Manchester United after being told he has a future in Jose Mourinho.

Moyes, who became Sunderland manager last week following Sam Allardyce’s appointment as England manager, has confirmed that Fellaini is a leading target as he attempts to strengthen his squad at the Stadium of Light.

But despite the prospect of regular action on Wearside, Fellaini is determined to remain at Old Trafford following Mourinho’s insistence that he will have a role to play at United this season.

The 28-year-old has been a divisive figure among United supporters since arriving at the club in a £27.5m move from Everton in August 2013 as Moyes’s first signing as manager at Old Trafford.

Fellaini survived Moyes’s dismissal in April 2014 to become a regular performer under the Scot’s successor, Louis van Gaal, but Mourinho’s arrival earlier this summer had placed the Belgian’s future in doubt.

But while Mourinho has warned all members of his squad that nobody will be guaranteed a starting place -- the former Chelsea manager has insisted he expects to rotate a 24-man squad through as many as 60 games this season -- he has given Fellaini encouragement that he will be an important member of his pool of players.

Paul Pogba’s impending arrival at United from Juventus in a deal worth an anticipated £100m will further intensify competition for places in midfield.

But with former Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger set to be offloaded by Mourinho, Fellaini’s ability to play in an advanced midfield role or as a defensive midfielder enables to him to offer a versatile option to the new United manager.

Adnan Januzaj, another United player courted by Moyes, is unlikely to be retained by Mourinho if Sunderland make a formal bid for the 21-year-old, however.

Having been given his first-team opportunity by Moyes during the 2013-14 campaign, Januzaj’s progress at United has since stalled to the point where the club are now ready to listen to offers.

Januzaj was recalled from a loan at Borussia Dortmund last season after failing to impress the club’s coach, Thomas Tuchel, and after being unable to take his loan chance in the Bundesliga, a permanent sale, rather than a further loan move, is the most likely option for the Belgian winger.

Independent News Service

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