The Belgian’s contract expires at the end of the 2017/18 campaign and he will have permission to speak with other clubs about a pre-contract agreement in January.
But negotiations with Fellaini’s representatives have dragged on, with the 29-year-old, considered a vital member of the squad by Jose Mourinho, refusing to accept a typical one year rolling contract as part of a club policy for players over 30.
And according to ESPN‘s Rob Dawson, United are facing an uphill struggle to keep Fellaini at the club after an initial contract offer was turned down in September.
Fellaini turns 30 in less than two weeks and will know that his next contract will be his last big one.
And with Besiktas and Galatasaray both reportedly keen to lure the Belgian to Turkey for free next summer, alongside continued interest from Serie A, Fellaini is clearly holding out for United to offer terms that match – an ideally eclipse – anything tabled by other potential suitors.
This shouldn’t be a problem for United to do, even if their wage bill has increased by 13 per cent over the last year, and you imagine Mourinho will look to ensure that a mutually acceptable deal is tied up by January.