Marouane Fellaini Transfer: 5 Possible Options for Everton Midfielder
Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini has gone from one of the most talked-about players in recent weeks because of his good form to being so because of his antics in the recent Everton versus Stoke City fixture, prompting talk of a January transfer away from his club.
While an entirely vicious headbutt on Ryan Shawcross has garnered most attention and will likely warrant a three-match ban, the Mirror are reporting that a suspension three times as long could be on the cards for the Belgian.
Two further assaults on the same player could see the big-haired Everton midfielder suspended domestically until into February, with EADT claiming this will lead manager David Moyes to consider transfer bids for him in the forthcoming window.
Away from these disciplinary issues, Fellaini has impressed this season in an attacking midfield role where he has scored eight goals and claimed three assists so far.
Any potential buyers of the midfield powerhouse will need deep pockets; Everton are said to rate Fellaini at around a massive £30 million, according to the Guardian, who believe the move to be more likely following the Stoke incident.
Here are five potential destinations for Fellaini if he does indeed leave Everton.
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The Premier League champions have already witnessed the power and potential of Fellaini firsthand this season; he scored the Blues' goal in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium just a few short weeks ago.
A move to Manchester City would provide Fellaini with the Champions League football he craves—though not this year obviously—while the Citizens also have the capacity to shell out big fees for the right player, despite recent reports of a near-£100 million loss.
Roberto Mancini often opts to use two centre forwards in his starting XI but, last season in particular, was quick to push Yaya Toure further forward when the situation demanded more power and presence in the middle of the final third.
Fellaini would allow the boss to do that without sacrificing Toure's quality in the midfield, while he would also be a natural replacement for the former Barcelona player while he leaves for African Cup of Nations duty in the new year.
The Belgian does not possess the same level of technical ability as the likes of Samir Nasri and David Silva in the City attack, but has already shown more than enough this season to suggest teams struggle with dealing with him and that he would be an asset to City when opposition defences sit back in numbers.
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Rafa Benitez might not get much more than this season to make his mark on Chelsea, but one player who might appeal to him in the January transfer window is Marouane Fellaini.
His signing would represent a big change in the style that the three attacking midfielders were supposed to combine in (Mata, Hazard, Oscar) but Chelsea need a little more solidity than flair at times and Fellaini would certainly provide that.
In addition he is adept at running past the lone striker, which would give continual support to Fernando Torres rather than the two wider attackers dropping deep and drifting into space to receive the ball.
Benitez had success at Liverpool using a powerful goalscoring threat behind Torres with Steven Gerrard, and while Fellaini is not on the level of Gerrard in his pomp he can be a similar second forward with the capacity to hit easily into the double figures of goals.
With a shortage of fit central midfielders at present, Fellaini's versatility would also see him used in deeper roles this term.
The Mirror has linked Fellaini with a move to Chelsea as well as with our next team...
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While Fellaini's attacking midfield potential has been the main reason for the previous two teams, his preferred position is the holding midfield role.
Arsenal are a team who might benefit from his presence in this role as they seek to become a harder side to beat once more, without sacrificing their attacking mobility or players such as Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere.
Partnering Fellaini in the middle with perhaps Mikel Arteta would give the Gunners a great mix of technical and physical assets while they of course still retain the option to move the Belgian further forward when required.
Fellaini would likely command a record transfer fee from the Gunners under Arsene Wenger, but with the French boss coming under some heavy fire in recent weeks, perhaps it would be worth it.
Paris St Germain
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Talking of heavy fire, Paris St Germain were expected to walk to the French Ligue 1 title this season by their expectant owners and with things not quite panning out that way, Carlo Ancelotti is a man under pressure to succeed quickly.
Victory at the weekend lifted them back to the top of the table—but only on goal difference from both Lyon and Marseille.
The Guardian have linked the Parisian club with a move for Fellaini most recently and his strength in midfield, alongside the likes of Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti, would give PSG a hugely solid base in the centre of the park.
The spending power of PSG has been well-documented in the transfers of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Thiago Silva amongst others.
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Finally, a team who has not been linked with a move for the Everton midfielder but one where he could possibly fit in very well.
Spurs are currently in the fourth and final Champions League place in the Premiership, a spot which Everton are pushing hard to capture.
The London side have a better squad to play with than Everton do, though, as well as considerably more power in the transfer market. It might be a stretch to see them paying £30 million for Fellaini with other sides interested, but Spurs have been linked with paying a similar fee for Joao Moutinho amongst others.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas has more often than not started with an attacking midfielder behind a single forward, with wingers Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon flanking the likes of Clint Dempsey or Gylfi Sigurdsson.
However, with neither of the two central summer signings impressing in that advanced role yet it would be a real coup for Spurs to snap up Fellaini and play him in the role off the striker, letting him link up with fellow Belgian national team midfielder Moussa Dembele in the process.
Spurs would be considered the least likely of the quintet to be able to sign him, but Fellaini could prove the difference between finishing the season in the top four and just being edged out of it by one of the other competitors—making him worth every bit of the large fee attached to him.