Manchester United have triggered a one-year option on Marouane Fellaini’s contract in order to keep him at Old Trafford until 2018, according to The Mirror.
What’s the story?
The Belgium international had an option for a further year written into the four-year contract that he signed when he joined from Everton in a £27.5m deal in 2013.
The midfielder is not exactly a fan favourite, with many supporters having reservations about whether his style fits in at United.
However, the club reportedly deem him worthy enough of a contract extension, which was formally activated last month, claims the newspaper.
The news comes a few days after Fellaini’s affectionate celebration with manager Jose Mourinho, in which the pair hugged on the touchline after the midfielder scored the second goal in a 2-0 victory over Hull City in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final at Old Trafford.
The 29-year-old has made 15 Premier League appearances, six of which were off the bench, this season.
Why is he so valued by the club?
Generally, when the majority of supporters feel negatively towards a player, it becomes difficult for that footballer to carve out a lengthy career at a club.
Plenty of United fans are not convinced by Fellaini’s qualities, yet he has survived under three managers and looks set to continue his stay at Old Trafford.
The Belgian does not possess the qualities one might associate with a typical United midfield, with his aggressiveness getting him into trouble on more than one occasion.
Fellaini is known to flail an elbow in tussles, and there are nerves when he’s in the oppositions box, particularly after he gave away a penalty against former club Everton last month.
Away from the pitch, though, he seems to be a popular character in the dressing room, which is perhaps a big reason why he is kept by managers.
The problem for Fellaini is that he was brought in by David Moyes in 2013, and the Scotsman’s doomed spell in charge, which lasted less than 10 months, seems to linger over the midfielder.
Perhaps the tide is turning with regards to some fans, though, as Fellaini’s name was sung by the Old Trafford faithful during the midweek match against Hull.