Marouane Fellaini has explained his decision to remain at Manchester United after the club confirmed the Belgian midfielder had signed a two year deal at Old Trafford.
Reports emerged from Belgium earlier this week that Fellaini, who had looked destined for a new club, would in fact sign a new two year contract at Man United.
And it was announced on the club’s official website on Friday that the Belgian midfielder – a player most supporters wanted to see the back of – had agreed on a new contract which keeps him in Manchester until 2020.
Fellaini, a day after performing well in a 1-0 win over England at the World Cup, explained that he chose to stay at United because he was happy playing under Jose Mourinho.
“I am pleased to be continuing my journey as a Manchester United player,” he said. “I made this decision because I am very happy here. Also, I feel like this team, under Jose, still has a lot we want to achieve.”
“I would like to say a special thank you to Jose for the faith he has always shown in me. My focus now is on the World Cup and I am looking forward to a successful season ahead.”
If this was the real reason behind Fellaini staying then the contract would have been tied up months ago.
That this saga has dragged on for so long comes down to Fellaini receiving an offer – one of many – from United, turning his nose up at it, holding meetings with the likes of Arsenal and AC Milan and Besiktas, realising he wouldn’t get a better offer elsewhere, before ultimately signing on the dotted line at Old Trafford.
There is nothing wrong with that per se. At the age of 30 this will be his last big contract, after all. But the explanation is simply dishonest, and United’s handling of this case – allowing Fellaini to lead the dance at negotiations, failing to arrive at a quick solution, letting so much talk of it meet the public gaze – has been nothing short of embarrassing.