Manchester United reportedly believed that Marouane Fellaini was dead-set on leaving the club this summer as recently as two weeks ago.
It was announced today that Fellaini has signed a new two-year contract, keeping him at Man United until 2020, with the option of a further year following mass speculation over his future.
The 30-year-old was widely expected to depart Old Trafford ahead of the 2018-19 season after turning down a contract renewal offer back in September due to wage demands and the fact his deal was set to expire on Sunday.
United editor at the Manchester Evening News Samuel Luckhurst tweeted this evening that, according to his sources, the club thought the player’s stance was to leave as a free agent as recently as a fortnight ago.
Because of this, United were actively looking on the market for replacements in the same area amidst links with SS Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos.
Fellaini’s confirmed stay in Manchester has almost certainly ended Mourinho’s wish to bring in a new midfielder this summer though, leaving £50m Shakhtar Donetsk man Fred as the only midfield arrival during the transfer window.
It is unknown what role the Belgium international will play next season, after featuring as a rotary squad member throughout the 2017-18 campaign, but Mourinho will be delighted at the star’s ultimate decision to stay.