Liverpool will be on the lookout for a central midfielder in the summer, with Emre Can set to leave the club. In their upcoming UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City, Can is out injured while Jordan Henderson is suspended. This leaves Jurgen Klopp with only three options – Giorginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
According to a report in French newspaper L’Equipe, as relayed here by Sky Sports, The Reds could be in the market for Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini, and are readying a three-year deal. The Belgian’s contract at Old Trafford is up in the summer and no extension is in sight. He has fallen out of favour with manager Jose Mourinho, making only 13 appearances in the Premier League this season.
It is difficult to see how Fellaini would fit the Liverpool system. They needed someone with quick feet and supreme passing ability, along with the ability to press the opposition for 90 minutes. The former Everton man has his strengths, but pace and technical skill are not among them. He certainly does offer a size advantage and a useful Plan B, but Liverpool’s needs are slightly different right now. Fellaini has the ability to be an imposing presence in the box and score goals, something that no one among the current squad possesses. Having said that, Klopp’s high-pressing game built on quick counter-attacks doesn’t really require a midfielder to be going into the area and winning knock-downs off long balls.
Mersey-side based newspaper Liverpool Echo rubbished these rumours, stating that Liverpool weren’t interested in any way in signing a player who had previously played for their two biggest rivals. Interestingly, no player has moved from Anfield to Old Trafford since Phil Chisnall in 1964.
David Moyes signed him from Goodison Park in 2013 for £27.5 million, after the club missed out on their first-choice target in Cesc Fabregas. Fellaini’s role in the United team over the last five years has been sporadic at best. He hasn’t made over 30 or more league appearances in a single season of his Red Devils career, despite popping up and scoring some important goals along the way. He has often been deployed by Mourinho to man-mark skillful opposition midfielders out of games. While certainly being a useful squad player, he is never going to be one of the main men. With the signings of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, along with the ascension of youth product Scott McTominay, it will be safe to say that regular first-team football is not going to be possible for Fellaini to get.
The 30 year-old is also being courted by French duo Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, who are both looking to add depth to their respective midfields.