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Marouane Fellaini to Reportedly Sign New Two-Year Contract at Manchester United

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 29:  Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on April 29, 2018 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is reportedly poised to sign a new two-year contract with the club, putting an end to speculation about his future. 

Fellaini's current deal with the Red Devils is set to expire this week, and as such rumours have been rife about him potentially moving elsewhere. However, according to Kristof Terreur of Het Laatste Nieuws, the Belgium international is poised to sign on until 2020:

Kristof Terreur 📰 @HLNinEngeland

Se queda. Marouane Fellaini and Manchester United are close to an agreement over a new deal. #mufc @hlnsport https://t.co/mqj7D7v41P

The 30-year-old joined United in 2013 under David Moyes and has divided opinion at Old Trafford in his five years at the club.

However, manager Jose Mourinho has made it clear in the past that there is a place for Fellaini in his squad.

"He's important," said the Portuguese, per Mike Whalley of The Independent. "He's a player that I like. But he has a different position in relation to other players with contracts. We can control other players' destiny but in Marouane's case, the destiny is in his hands."

According to James Robson of the Manchester Evening News, the new terms for Fellaini will end United's search to sign another midfielder:

James Robson @JamesRobsonMEN

Fellaini deal is likely to end United's search for a second midfielder this summer. Mourinho went into the window with a number of areas in need of address. Makes it easier to stretch his budget

As relayed by Tom Coast of Sport Witness, the United manager is most likely pleased at the news the former Everton man is going to stick around:

Tom Coast @thcoast

José Mourinho when Fellaini announces he’s staying at #MUFC https://t.co/ypR996xAy0

There are clear merits to having a player like Fellaini in the squad, as he is a unique footballer who opponents have found tough to cope with in the past.

Fellaini's main strength is his physicality, as he rarely loses battles or aerial challenges. Bringing the ball down softly on his chest and moving it on to a team-mate has almost become a trademark for the Belgian during his time in the Premier League.

Mourinho has made it clear he is a fan of Fellaini.
Mourinho has made it clear he is a fan of Fellaini.Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Still, some United supporters will be a little miffed at the decision to keep Fellaini around, as his inclusion often encourages direct football.

Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News doesn't believe United should've sought to keep him on:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Fellaini has been good for #mufc; performed in biggest games post-Moyes (bossed Liverpool at Anfield, performed in 2015 derby, scored in FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League semi-finals), but his stock has plummeted mainly due to injury and midfield needs energising.

United do have quality midfield options within their ranks already. Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera played as a trio often last season, while the addition of Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk will give Mourinho another fine player in the middle of the park.

Fellaini is likely to be used either in domestic cup matches or in situations when the team is chasing a goal late in games, as he provides a focal point when the ball is launched into the box in a desperate search for a goal.

Journalist Tom McDermott admitted he has concerns about what the extension potentially symbolises:

Tom McDermott @MrTomMcDermott

If Fellaini does sign an extension to his #MUFC contract there’s a few concerns for me. 1. Could block the arrival of another midfielder. 2. Why did it take so long? 3. Overall transfer strategy of club needs a thorough examination and this ‘saga’ just highlights it imo.

Still, for Mourinho and United it's another option in a season where they will be seeking to compete on four fronts. While Fellaini is not the most elegant footballer, there will be times next term his ability to be a nuisance can be a force for good.

Fellaini, at 30, will surely want to be playing as often as possible in what should be the peak years of his career. However, regular minutes will likely be tough to come by if he does extend his stay in Manchester.

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