A report from Turkish outlet Fotomac this morning claimed that Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has agreed to join Turkish Super Lig champions Besiktas on a free transfer at the end of the season.
However, upon further investigation, a number of questions regarding the breaking news come to the fore…
30-year-old Belgian international Fellaini has been at Old Trafford since making the move from Premier League rivals Everton in 2013.
The burly midfielder was often singled out for criticism from the club’s fans during his first few seasons at the club, with his clumsy displays out of keeping with what the Red Devils faithful have come to expect from their midfield stars.
As such, Fellaini was heavily linked with a departure from the club during the summer, with Turkish giants Galatasaray having looked the most likely destination.
However, Jose Mourinho slammed the door on a potential exit for his Belgian powerhouse back in July, claiming that ‘he is too important’ to be allowed to depart.
Fellaini responded with a number of improved showings over the first few months of the current campaign, racking up 4 goals in his first 10 appearances between the Premier League and Champions League, just 4 of which came as starts.
On the move?
However, a number of injury problems over the months that have followed have since seen Fellaini become something of a forgotten man at Old Trafford, with Manchester United expected to move for at least one big-name midfield addition this summer.
As such, Fellaini, who’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, has been linked with a whole host of clubs around Europe, with Galatasray thought to maintain an interest in the Belgian’s services, and Ligue 1 powerhouse PSG also surprisingly reported to be keeping tabs on his situation.
But, as per the aforementioned report from Fotomac, it is now being claimed that Fellaini has already given his word to Turkish champions Besiktas regarding a free transfer to the Vodafone Arena in June.
Besiktas, who looked hugely impressive in topping their Champions League Group late last year on their way to the competition’s last 16, are known to be on the lookout for midfield reinforcements, with captain Oğuzhan Özyakup expected to depart the club this summer on a free transfer of his own.
However, upon further inspection of Fotomac’s report this morning, a number of cracks begin to appear in the Fellaini to Besiktas story.
A brilliant follow-up report from Football365 has since revealed the following:
So off we go to FotoMac and find a story dated February 14 entitled ‘Fellaini agrees with Besiktas’. So is this a local source? Is it balls.
‘Commenting the news in the4thofficial.net…’
So off we go to the4thofficial.net, which had previously escaped our notice, and find an article dated February 12…
‘Besiktas are plotting a move for Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini next summer.’
Plotting? It doesn’t sound like Fellaini has agreed a contract with Besiktas. We read on…
‘According to a report by Talksport, the Turkish club are planning to reach an agreement with the Red Devils midfielder in the summer transfer window.’
Ah, Talksport. Now we are back on February 9. So what insight do they have?
‘Besiktas are preparing a summer swoop for Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini.’
Preparing? Is that less than plotting? We’re not sure anymore. So where did Talksport get their story?
‘According to Fotomac…’
At this point, Mediawatch does not know whether to laugh or cry.
The headline on that Fotomac story – from February 7 – is ‘Operation started’.
Make that ‘Bullshit started’. Where will it end?