Manchester United and Napoli have agreed to a move that will send Marouane Fellaini to Italy on a season-long loan. The transfer will be finalized as soon as the Belgium international gives his approval to the switch.
The Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that Napoli has agreed to pay United a fee of £4million in order to secure the services of the 26-year-old midfielder.
What held the deal up for weeks is the fact that United wanted the Italian club to take the player on a permanent basis.
Fellaini joined the twenty-time champions of England from Everton for a reported fee of £27.5million during the final hours of the transfer window last September. United had been hoping to get Napoli to agree a fee in the region of £15 million for the midfielder in order to recuperate some of the money they lost on the deal. But the Serie A club would not budge on its stance of signing the player on loan; at least initially.
Napoli manager Rafa Benitez believes that Fellaini’s skills and physicality will be an asset in the Italian league and club officials have spoken to the Belgium international over the course of the past few weeks.
Fellaini will inform Napoli of his decision following their first leg Champions League playoff tie with Athletic Bilbao later this evening. The Italian club is allowed to register one more player for their Champions League campaign, and it is expected that Fellaini will join the Serie A squad.
The Belgian midfielder battled injuries and poor form during his first year at Old Trafford; Fellaini didn’t score for the club while only making sixteen appearances in all competitions.
Since returning from his World Cup duties with Belgium, the midfielder has come off the bench as a substitute during United’s last two early season matches; a friendly vs. Valencia and this weekend’s league encounter with Swansea City.
Although Fellaini was able to slot home the winning goal against the La Liga side, he was steadily jeered by a section of the club’s fans each time he touched the ball.
United manager Louis van Gaal stuck to his word and has given returning players a chance to prove they could play in his system. But it appears Fellaini’s time in North West England is coming to an end.