Reports: Arsenal join race to sign £12 million-rated Manchester United midfielder
What's the story?
Manchester United are currently in second place in the Premier League, eight points behind bitter rivals Manchester City. The Red Devils have struggled off late, and Jose Mourinho will use the winter transfer window to address key shortcomings in his squad.
However, Jose Mourinho has been informed that he must sell non-essential players before he can buy anyone, and Marouane Fellaini's name is first on the list of players that could be sacrificed by the Portuguese manager. The midfielder has attracted interest from several clubs, and according to Calciomercato, Arsenal are the latest club to join the race for Fellaini.
In case you didn't know...
Marouane Fellaini began his professional career at Standard Liege, and after scoring 11 goals in 84 appearances, the Belgian moved to the Premier League in 2008. Fellaini signed for Everton in a deal worth £15 million, and he quickly established himself as a first-team regular.
After a few good seasons at the Merseyside club, the midfielder moved on to Manchester United in 2013-14, where he has since won the Europa League, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Community Shield.
Fellaini has garnered a reputation as a tough-tackling, no-nonsense midfielder who can break down opposition attacks.
He has also frequently gotten on the wrong side of referees in the Premier League, and his more unappealing tendencies have cost his club at times. In his 237 appearances in the Premier League, Fellaini has picked up 54 yellow cards and 3 red cards, committing 568 fouls along the way.
The heart of the matter
There are multiple clubs interested in signing Fellaini, and Besiktas appear to be leading the race. The Belgian midfielder will be out of contract at the end of the season and United will want to cash in on him before he has the chance to walk away for free.
While Besiktas has already laid the groundwork for the deal, Arsenal have leverage in the form of one Mesut Ozil, should they choose to use it. Mesut Ozil has repeatedly expressed his desire to join Manchester United, and United boss Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his admiration for the German midfielder.
The Gunners are running out of time to sell Ozil, whose contract will also be expiring at the end of the season, and this could be a match made in heaven.
If Arsenal act quickly and present a more enticing deal than Besiktas can offer United, Fellaini could be moving to London in January. United might not want to sell the midfielder to a rival club, but they could be persuaded by the prospect of signing Ozil.