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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on November 5, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)

Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United have reportedly agreed to an £8 million January transfer of Marouane Fellaini to Besiktas.

According to Neil Moxley of the Sunday Mirror, manager Jose Mourinho has been told he needs to sell before he can buy in January, and as Fellaini will be a free agent in the summer, he has decided to cash in on the Belgian.

His departure could make room for Shakhtar Donetsk star Fred, one of the players linked with a mid-season switch to the Red Devils.

Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Fellaini has become an important part of Mourinho’s United team this season, finally making good on his promise for the first time since his move from Everton to Old Trafford. For years, the physical midfielder was considered a laughing stock at United, but things have changed dramatically.

Blogger Liam Canning, long a vocal critic of the former Standard Liege man, is one of many who has had to revise their opinion of him:

Fellaini is still known as something of a clumsy player who doesn’t have much finesse to his game, but his physical approach, high work rate and aerial ability makes him a perfect fit for Mourinho’s teams.

He’s versatile enough to play all over midfield or even sit in behind the striker and is a perfect man to bring off the bench and drop into the box when looking for a goal late in the match. Fellaini will never be mistaken for a world-class, all-round midfielder, but he’s a useful player to have in any squad.

Besiktas have no doubt taken note of this fact, and they’re not alone. Rob Dawson of ESPN FC previously credited Galatasaray and AC Milan with an interest as well.

Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Mourinho likely would prefer to keep the player―his tendency to play him whenever possible has become something of a running gag on social media at this point―but Fellaini needs to play more regular minutes to maintain his spot in the Belgian national team. With his contract ending soon, the time to cash in is now.

Fred would be a solid replacement, as he’s but the latest in a long line of Brazilian exports impressing for Shakhtar.

As reported by the Associated Press (for the Guardian), he was among the players who refused to return to Ukraine after a match in France back in 2014, due to the unstable condition in the nation, and it is believed he’s still eager to leave the club if a top team comes calling.

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