Marouane Fellaini Says PSG Wanted to Sign Him Ahead of 2018-19 Season

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2019

(FILES) This file photo taken on  December 5, 2018 shows Manchester United's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini warming up for the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England. - Marouane Fellaini should brace for a culture shock at Chinese club Shandong Luneng following his move from Premier League Manchester United.The 31-year-old -- known as 'Fluffy Head' in China, although he now has short hair -- on February 1, 2019 became the latest player to swap Europe for the Chinese Super League on big money. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP)        (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Marouane Fellaini has said Paris Saint-Germain were interested in signing him from Manchester United ahead of the current campaign. 

The midfielder left Old Trafford in January to join Chinese Super League outfit Shandong Luneng, having fallen down the pecking order since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was drafted in to replace Jose Mourinho.

Speaking to Telefoot (h/t Christ Burton of Goal), the Belgium international said there was high-profile interest in him from the Ligue 1 champions ahead of the 2018-19 term.

"Could I have signed for PSG last summer? Yes," said the former United and Everton man. "Would I have liked to play for PSG? Yes. Was it [PSG coach] Thomas Tuchel who did not want me to come? No."

Fellaini went on to say that he felt it was the "right time to leave" United, having joined the club in the summer of 2013. The Belgian added he had some "beautiful seasons" in the Premier League, having first moved to England with the Toffees in 2008.

No Belgian has played more times in English football's top flight than the towering midfielder:

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

👋 Marouane Fellaini ➡ Shandong Luneng Taishan Most PL apps by a Belgian: 260 M.FELLAINI 257 V.Kompany 245 S.Mignolet Most PL goals scored by a Belgian: 109 R.Lukaku 79 E.Hazard 69 C.Benteke 37 M.FELLAINI https://t.co/SZxamHKydu

At 31 he's moving into the twilight years of his career and will be keen to make an impression in what is a growing division in China. 

Shandong Luneng will be seeking to build on their third-placed finish in 2018, with Fellaini set to join the likes of Graziano Pelle in their setup. They start their league season with a home game against Beijing Renhe on March 1.

While Fellaini was a useful player for United and chipped in with some important goals for the team, it doesn't appear as if the Red Devils are going to miss him too much.

Under Solskjaer the style of football has shifted towards a blueprint based on quick counter-attacking and fluid forward play, traits that were never likely to suit Fellaini. It's something Mark Ogden of ESPN FC picked up on last month:

Mark Ogden @MarkOgden_

Great goal Rashford. Long pass from Pogba, touch and finish. The kind of goal which shows why the likes of Lukaku and Fellaini will struggle under Solskjaer. All about pace and movement.

PSG may have benefitted from having someone like Fellaini around this season, though, as they appear a little light in midfield.

Marco Verratti returned to action against Bordeaux on Saturday in a boost to Tuchel, although he's still set to field a makeshift midfield at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League last-16 first-leg clash on Tuesday. Marquinhos, a natural centre-back, is set to be moved forward, while January signing Leandro Paredes may get just his second start for the club.

Fellaini added that he thinks United are "favourites" to get past PSG based on their recent resurgence under Solskjaer. As someone who could have potentially been representing either side in that fixture, you sense the Belgian will have an especially keen interest in the match.


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