Fellaini, who signed a one-year extension last year, was offered a new deal back in September but rejected the terms proposed by the club.
The Belgian has been free to speak with other clubs since January 1 and noted in a recent interview that he didn’t know where he would be playing.
And Mourinho, speaking at a press conference on Monday, noted that the club was no further to reaching an agreement to extend Fellaini’s future at the club.
“It’s a very important player for me and is a great professional that is giving everything he can to help the team and there is a desire from myself, the board and the player to stay together,” he said.
“That’s our objective. Are we going to reach, to agree? I don’t know but what I know is that myself, the board and the player we would like to have a happy year.
And when asked if he was more optimistic about Fellaini staying than previously, he replied: “In relation to Marouane? No, no. I’m happy with his contribution. I think he’s been a great professional for us and I know that he wants to stay with us and that is very important.
“He knows I want him and the club wants him and I think that’s very important for him. But then there is a paper to sign but you only sign the paper when you are happy with what’s on the paper.
“So let’s see what will happen.”
The boss seems to imply here that Fellaini’s future hinges on whether the club offers him a substantial enough financial package more than anything else.
Their relationship is clearly amicable and there have never been any signs – even when he was regularly scapegoated by supporters – that he looks unhappy or uncomfortable at Old Trafford.
But at the age of 30, the midfielder only has one big contract left in his career, and the club only needs to give him the wages he wants to ensure those last few years of his prime are spent in Manchester.