Maroaune Fellaini’s exit from Manchester United has been an open secret for weeks, with the former Everton midfielder refusing to sign a new contract with his current deal set to expire at the end of June. Once that date passes, that will leave the Belgian free to negotiate a deal with anyone he wants, and according to reports in Metro, who cite Foot 365 as their source, United’s fellow Premier League competitors Arsenal have emerged as a shock potential destination for the player.
Given that all of the talk within the last month had centred around Fellaini choosing AC Milan as his next club, news that the Gunners are interested in his services is of tremendous surprise. The Belgian’s reasons for refusing to sign a new deal at Old Trafford, despite United boss’ Jose Mourinho’s desire to keep the player on the club’s books appeared to stem from a lack of playing time and increased wages. Fellaini has been far from a regular starter during his five years in red, and his most effective moments for the team have come as an impact substitute, and given his limited skillset, a regular starting berth was never going to happen under Mourinho or any other United manager going forward.
In that sense, it’s odd to hear Arsenal wanting to involve themselves in the conversation for his future, given that Unai Emery’s side surely already have superior midfielders in their ranks that would make it difficult for Fellaini to command a starting berth there, too. Given that his strengths lie in physicality and unsettling defences, it would be a strange new tact for Arsenal to bring in a player who represents the very antithesis of their easy-on-the-eye attacking style, but even so, it’s likely that most United fans, many of whom have failed to warm to his particular skills, won’t be too concerned where he ends up.