Manchester United have triggered the one-year option on Marouane Fellaini’s £120 000-a-week contract at Old Trafford, tying the Belgian to the club until the summer of 2018.
The news emerged yesterday in the wake of Fellaini’s late goal and emotional celebration as United beat Hull 2-0 in the semi-final of the EFL Cup on Tuesday.
Although it was widely believed that Fellaini had signed a five-year contract when he moved from Everton for £27.5million in 2013, United had an option to activate the final 12 months of the deal. The club exercised that right last month at a time when Fellaini was weighing up the possibility of a move to Italy as well as offers from China.
However, Juan Mata believes Fellaini has turned the corner at Old Trafford following the reaction to his headed goal against Hull. A month after United fans booed him when he came on as a substitute against Tottenham at Old Trafford, they were singing his name as he ran to celebrate his goal with manager Jose Mourinho.
Mata said: ‘I am very happy for Marouane because he has had difficult times. It is not nice when you play in your own stadium and you have not the best atmosphere. But now it is different. It was good to hear the stadium singing his name. ‘Maybe Marouane feels that the manager has belief in him and that is why he celebrated.’
It is a sign of Mourinho’s faith in Fellaini, 29, that he has kept the Belgian while agreeing to let Morgan Schneiderlin join Everton for £24m. The United boss reiterated yesterday that he plans to buy big in the summer, but not spend in the January transfer window.
‘I am convinced that in this winter market we will be sellers and not buyers,’ said Mourinho. ‘We want to raise pounds to attack in the summer.’