Football

The reason why Man United will now struggle to keep Marouane Fellaini next summer

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There are very few players present in the Premier League's top six that divide opinion quite like Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini.

The giant Belgian midfielder was snapped up back in 2013 by David Moyes from Everton and ever since, he has been in and out of the Red Devils' team, flirting with an exit on numerous occasions.

Under Jose Mourinho, Fellaini has certainly become a more important figure and played a vital role in United's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Filling in for the injured Paul Pogba - who is likely to be absent for some time - the Belgian played the box-to-box role perfectly and chipped in with two goals.

Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata joined him on the scoresheet as Mourinho's side cruised to victory at Old Trafford.

However, despite his new found importance at the club, Fellaini's foreseeable future may not be with the Red Devils as disputes over his new contract continue.

MOURINHO WOULD NOT SELL

He was linked with a move to Galatasaray this summer, but eventually, Mourinho declared that he would never consider offloading him.

But, his current deal is due to expire at the end of this season and United have done something which could potentially have improved the chances of him leaving.

Back in January, the club had the chance to activate a clause that would extend his deal by 12 months but it is something they did not do.

An Old Trafford source said, per Sun: “There is a fear that Marouane will only stay here with a major pay increase.

FELLAINI ISSUE

“He is on good money already, but feels he has a worth. They are in a difficult spot with him out of contract next summer.

“The club already took out their 12-month option to extend his deal back in January, so it's proving difficult.

“He wants to stay by all accounts, but has seen the club hand big money in recent seasons to new arrivals."

Now, United face the proposition of upping his current £130,000-a-week wage significantly in order to keep him for a short period.

Fellaini is free to negotiate with European sides in January and can even sign a pre-contract with English clubs should he choose to.

Not activating that clause could end up looking foolish because, as we saw on Saturday, the Belgian is actually vital to Mourinho's squad.

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Marouane Fellaini

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