Marouane Fellaini has never been the most popular player at Manchester United since his rushed signing by David Moyes in 2013 and his dwindling contract situation has not done anything for his status among the club’s fans.
The former Everton man is unlikely to be anything more than a Plan B or cover option at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho but the way that he has refused to commit his future to a club that many of its fans feel he shouldn’t even be at has not gone down well.
Yet, as June draws to a close, the Belgian international, who is currently at the World Cup and could line up against England on Thursday night, has said that his future will be resolved by the end of the week.
The expectation is that Fellaini will leave Manchester on a free transfer but with no clear idea on where he might head, Football FanCast have taken a closer look at some of his potential options…
At the start of June, reports emerged that Arsenal were interested in a surprise swoop for Fellaini, which would be a major departure from the profile of players that Arsene Wenger used to bring to the club.
Unai Emery may feel that the Belgian, who is valued at £10.8m by Transfermarkt, could do a job on a free transfer, adding another dimension and some steel to a side that has lacked it for so long.
However, Fellaini has often looked like a fish out of water at United and it could be similar at Arsenal, where he may struggle to keep up with the pace of the diminutive playmakers all around him.
Emery’s former club PSG have also been linked with a move for Fellaini, although with new manager Thomas Tuchel known to prefer the rapid football favoured by Borussia Dortmund, it is difficult to see the Belgian fitting in well.
The French giants want to play attractive football, attract the world’s elite talent and win the Champions League and it is difficult to see how Fellaini would help them do any of those things.
Fellaini could only be brought in as a Plan B, but PSG seldom need that in Ligue 1 and he is too rudimentary to properly trouble Champions League defences.
Usually, signing a player from Manchester United would excite fans of most sides in the Premier League but the fact is that signing Fellaini would be a sign of limited intent to play attractive football.
That is not the plan for many of the clubs outside the top six as they want to inspire their fans and convince them that they will play in an attacking style.
The one possible exception is Newcastle, where Rafa Benitez has built an organised side and it is unlikely that he will have any great concerns about improving the playing style next time around.
Mike Ashley is notoriously reluctant to spend money so the prospect of picking Fellaini up on a free might appeal – this move makes the most sense if the Belgian wants to stay in England.
If Fellaini is unable to find a suitable club in England, he may well be tempted to take on a lucrative move to China like some of his Belgian international team-mates.
Axel Witsel and Yannick Carrasco already ply their trade there and Mousa Dembele is reportedly close to a move there as well, which could sway his thinking.
Roberto Martinez has shown with the above examples that playing in China is no barrier to international selection, so it could be an interesting option.