Marouane Fellaini

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Belgian midfielder Fellaini retires from international duty

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After leaving Manchester United this past summer for a big-money move to Chinese club Shandong Luneng, midfielder Marouane Fellaini has decided to call time on his international career as well, he announced on Instagram on Thursday.

The 31-year-old has accumulated 88 caps for the Belgian national team, seeing time in both the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, scoring a goal in both events. His international call-up in 2007 coincides with the beginning of the Belgian “golden generation” that features the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Moussa Dembele, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens, and a host of other highly talented players all around the same age.

That culminated with a third-place finish in the World Cup in Russia this past summer, their best-ever finish in a World Cup.

“After twelve years of representing Belgium at the highest level, I have decided to retire from senior international football,” Fellaini wrote on his social media post. “It has not been an easy decision for me and not one I take lightly however I feel that the time is right for me to step down and allow the next generation of Belgian players to continue this very successful period in Belgian football history.”

“I have many amazing memories with the Red Devils from my debut in 2007 to last year’s World Cup in Russia and I am very proud Belgium is currently No 1 in FIFA’s world rankings. I want to thank all those who have been part of my international career especially my team mates, many of whom will be friends for life and all the coaches I have worked with. I would like to also thank all the Belgian fans who have travelled the world to support us.”

Fellaini leaves Belgium as they are getting set to begin qualification for the Euro 2020 tournament. They take on Russia and Cyprus in the upcoming international break in late March, with qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Scotland on the docket in June.

Fellaini completes move to China’s Shandong Luneng

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Marouane Fellaini is the latest big name to head to the Chinese Super League.

Manchester United confirmed Friday that Fellaini, 31, had left the club and has joined Shandong Luneng Taishan FC.

It has been reported that United received a transfer fee of $13 million for Fellaini, who will reportedly earn $12.3 million per year after tax in China.

The former Everton star joined United in the summer of 2013 and was the first purchase of former United boss David Moyes.

During his time at Old Trafford he won the FA Cup, Europa League, Community Shield and League Cup, but Fellaini’s displays divided opinion and he was often used as a scapegoat in the post-Ferguson era.

He made 177 appearances and scored 22 goals in all competitions during his five-and-a-half-year stay at United.

Jose Mourinho handed Fellaini a new contract last summer and used the Belgian midfielder time and time again in big games to scrap and dig deep. But overall, his time at United has to be deemed as a failure.

Fellaini’s ability to arrive late in the box and finish off chances at Everton was the main reason United bought him, but too often he was deployed either as an emergency striker late in games (to be fair, he delivered some key goals in that role) or in a deeper central midfield role which didn’t suit his skillset.

He joins Italian striker Graziano Pelle at Shandong Luneng as the Jinan team finished third in the CSL in the 2018 season and are in the playoff round of the AFC Champions League.

Fellaini joins fellow Belgium star Mousa Dembele in the CSL, as he swapped the Premier League and Tottenham for Guangzhou R&F in January.

Transfer rumor roundup: Rakitic to Chelsea; Fellaini set for China

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Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup | Sunday | Saturday ]

With one former Barcelona midfielder, Cesc Fabregas, having left the club this month, Chelsea are reportedly plotting a move to acquire another playmaker from the defending La Liga champions: Ivan Rakitic. According to Spanish outlet Sport, the Blues will wait until the summer to bid for the 30-year-old Croatian, but he is said to rank very high on manager Maurizio Sarri‘s wish list. Rakitic’s place in the team could be in doubt next season with the arrival of Ajax wonderkid Frenkie de Jong in the summer.


Manchester City have a left back problem-ish, with Benjamin Mendy having suffered two knee injuries in his two seasons at the club and central midfielder-by-trade Fabian Delph proving less effective in season no. 2 as the deputy left back. Thus, the defending Premier League champions are said to be in the hunt for Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell. The 22-year-old has been a consistent figure in the Leicester team since graduating from the club’s academy in 2017. He would also satisfy the requirements for English-trained players in the squad, with Man City presently a bit short on domestic products.


Marouane Fellaini could very well have played his final game for Manchester United as an unnamed Chinese club is said to be deep into negotiations with the player and club over a January move for the 31-year-old Belgian midfielder. Fellaini’s signed a two-year contract extension last summer, meaning he has 18 months left on his current deal. The Chinese transfer window will remain open until the end of February, leaving ample time to complete a deal.


Arsenal boss Unai Emery confirmed on Tuesday that the club is “looking at two different players and the possibility they can come,” but the Spaniard refused to confirm whether or not midfielders Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan) and Denis Suarez (Barcelona) were the players under consideration following reports of the Gunners’ interest on Monday.

  • Yet another young prospect is set to leave Man City without ever having played for the club. Rabbi Matondo joined from Cardiff City, for $650,000, in 2016, and the 18-year-old Welshman is now expected to move to Bundesliga side Schalke for nearly $14 million.
  • Jonathan Castro Otto, currently on loan to Wolverhampton Wanderers, will see his loan from Atletico Madrid become a permanent transfer in the coming days as Wolves are expected to pay the previously agreed fee of nearly $24 million for the 24-year-old Spanish full back.
  • While Mauricio Pochettino is likely desperate to bring in a player or two to strengthen his injury-ravaged Tottenham Hotspur squad, those dreams are greatly outweighed by chairman Daniel Levy’s desire to shed forward Vincent Janssen‘s contract with the Dutch forward failing to make an appearance at the club in nearly 18 months. Burnley are reportedly considering a move for the 24-year-old.

Fellaini the hero as Man United advances

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Samson, he ain’t.

Newly-shorn Marouane Fellaini scored a stoppage time winner to send Manchester United into the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League following a 1-0 win over Young Boys at Old Trafford.

The win means United will not need a result against Valencia in Spain, as Jose Mourinho’s men left it extremely late. Mourinho smashed a drink container in celebration.

David De Gea made an insane save in the second half, as United needed every minute to outlast its Swiss visitors.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Jesse Lingard almost had United on the board when his deflected shot wrongfooted goalkeeper David von Ballmoos but missed the frame.

And Fred had a chance to make it 1-0 before halftime, but Marcus Rashford‘s terrific dribble was not met by an equal pass and Fred couldn’t get his effort on goal.

Marouane Fellaini skyed a chance over goal in the second half after Lingard’s work led to an open goal.

Young Boys felt it possible to get a winner as the scoreless match continued, with David De Gea making an outstanding deflected save on Michel Aebischer.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

League Cup: 10-man Man Utd stunned at home; Man City wins

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Derby County outlasted 10-man Manchester United in an eight-round penalty shootout as the Rams knocked the Red Devils out of the League Cup at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Locked 2-2 after 90 minutes, the sides each converted their first seven penalties before Phil Jones missed Manchester United’s eighth following a Richard Keogh conversion.

[ MORE: PL Player Power Rankings ]

With Paul Pogba sitting in the stands but dancing through the headlines, United’s players piled some lumber under manager Jose Mourinho’s hot seat.

Marouane Fellaini‘s goal deep in stoppage time gave 10-man Manchester United a stay at Old Trafford after the hosts tossed away a 1-0 lead. Diego Dalot’s cross was met by the big blonde head of Fellaini, who canceled out Jack Marriott’s late goal for Derby County.

Harry Wilson, on loan from Liverpool, scored a knuckling free kick in the second half of Derby’s visit to Old Trafford to bring Frank Lampard‘s Championship side level after Juan Mata‘s third minute opener. It was gorgeous (see above).

Mata’s goal itself was pretty, as United moved up the field quickly from Ander Herrera to Anthony Martial. The latter’s crossed was moved into Mata’s path via Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard, and the Red Devils were up early.

But the Rams kept knocking, and earned a free kick that Wilson crushed past a perplexed Sergio Romero, who was later sent off for a handball outside the box in the 68th minute, further setting the stage for the Cottagers.

Marriott struck for what looked to be the eventual winner about 17 minutes later.

Millwall 1-3 Fulham

American midfielder Luca De La Torre made the most of the chance handed to him by Slavisa Jokanovic. The 20-year-old played 16 minutes in the second round but earned a start at The Den, where he assisted Joe Bryan‘s opener and scored a 52nd minute goal for himself before adding another assist on the Cottagers’ final goal.

Oxford United 0-3 Man City

Phil Foden scored his first Man City goal, capping off a relatively easy stroll for Pep Guardiola‘s men. Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez also scored for the reigning champions of the Premier League and this tournament.

Elsewhere
West Brom 0-3 Crystal Palace
Burton Albion 2-1 Burnley
Wycombe Wanderers 3-4 Norwich City
Bournemouth 3-2 Blackburn Rovers
Preston North End 2-2 (3-4 PKs) Middlesbrough
Blackpool 1-0 Queens Park Rangers
Wolves 0-0 (1-3 PKs) Leicester City