In focus: Fellaini’s all but secured Old Trafford exit adds to Mourinho’s midfield worries

Marouane Fellaini is on the verge of securing a five-year deal with Galatasary, according to reports by Turkish newspaper Aksam.

It is simply a matter of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s now on a five-year deal between the injury-maligned player and the Turkish club.

What’s the story?

United’s soundbite-worthy manager Jose Mourinho has impressed upon the Belgian the importance of penning a new contract before his current one expires in the summer, telling him earlier this month to “sign and shut up”.

The midfielder has had big money offers on the table from both Turkey and China, however, and made clear his intentions in December when he rejected United’s initial offer of renewal.

Felliani’s struggles in his first few seasons at Old Trafford were well-documented as the Red Devils struggled to deal with the post-Fergie hubris, but he finally seemed to find his feet under Mourinho prior to an injury-riddled 2017-18 season.

What next for Mourinho’s men?

A nervous summer awaits for Mourinho, who risks losing two of his midfield stalwarts. Veteran midfielder Michael Carrick is considering retirement at the end of the season after undergoing surgery to correct an irregular heart rhythm that has seen him sidelined since September.

The two compliment each others strengths well, with Fellaini’s aerial presence underlined by his 2.5 aerial duels won per game and Carrick’s pass completion rate of 79.3% giving United much-needed composure on the ball in the middle of the park.