Marouane Fellaini has discussed the possibility of leaving Manchester United over the summer, noting that leaving Old Trafford would jeopardise his future with the national team.
It was reported earlier this season that the Belgian, widely chastised by supporters following his display against Everton in December, was edging closer to a move away from Man United.
However Mourinho, going against the agenda of most supporters, was quick express his support for the 29-year-old by handing him a contract extension during the January transfer window.
And Fellaini, when asked about his United future and rumours of a potential move to China, noted that moving overseas was not his priority at this given time.
“China is not my priority, but we’ll see. I’m honest: if I go, I won’t play for Belgium anymore.”
— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) March 8, 2017
There was a time where nobody would have blamed Mourinho for offloading Fellaini. Those nightmare ten minutes against Everton back in December pushed many supporters – myself included – over the edge, and many managers would have reciprocated by showing him the door.
But Mourinho opted for a different – and perhaps unpopular – approach, choosing instead to rally behind the Belgian, making it clear that, contrary to widespread opinion, he was an important member of the side that would receive chances in the future. And you sense that Fellaini, above anything, will feel indebted to the Portuguese for such a gesture.