Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has revealed he held talks with Louis van Gaal about his future, and says that he has until the January transfer window to prove he is good enough to play at Old Trafford.
The Belgium international joined the Premier League giants in a £27 million deadline day deal last summer, but has failed to fully cement his place in the Red Devils first-team.
Many expected Fellaini to leave Manchester United during the summer, but Van Gaal took the decision to keep hold of the former Everton star and give him a chance to prove his worth this season.
The arrival of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao, Daley Blind from Ajax and Angel di Maria from Real Madrid in a £59.7 million British transfer record deal will ensure that competition for places in Manchester United's midfield is increased this season, meaning Fellaini will need to be at the top of his game to work his way into Van Gaal's first-team plans.
However, the 26-year-old has been assured he will have the same opportunity as everyone else to stake a claim for a regular place in the starting line-up.
"Van Gaal told me there is a lot of competition [for places] so it's up to me to show that I have to play," he explained in an exclusive interview with VTM News.
After missing a large portion of last season through injury and the departure of manager David Moyes - the man responsible for bringing Fellaini to Manchester United - it was predicted that the writing would be on the wall for the fuzzy-haired midfielder.
However, he has outlasted the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Nani and Tom Cleverley, who were either sold or loaned out this summer during a late overhaul of the senior squad prior to the transfer deadline.
A leg injury has also hampered the Belgian's pre-season preparations and prevented Fellaini from featuring in any of Manchester United's three Premier League games so far in 2014/15.
He'll be looking to hit the ground running as soon as he regains fitness and will have taken some confidence from an impressive showing for his country at the World Cup in Brazil.
Van Gaal's pep talk will also help reassure Fellaini that the slate has been wiped clean from a disastrous last season - both individually and collectively - and will now be fully focused on helping the club bounce back in 2014/15.