Newcastle United have been linked with a January move for former Manchester United and Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
The big Belgian has been plying his trade in China for three years since leaving the Red Devils, but he has been rumoured with a shock return to the Premier League.
Les Sports+ claim that Eddie Howe and Newcastle’s Saudi-led consortium are interested in bringing the towering midfielder to Tyneside.
The 34-year-old is thriving in China with Shandong Taishan, where he extended his contract last June until 2025.
The Belgian international is considered a ‘major pawn’ of the Chinese side, where he has already worn the captain’s armband.
After winning the league and cup double this season, which saw Fellaini contribute 10 goals and an assist, the Belgian’s stock has risen in China.
But with his imperious physical qualities showing no signs of diminishing, Les Sports+ report that several clubs want to bring Fellaini back to Europe, including Newcastle who see him as the ‘ideal man to build their new team’.
However, Fellaini is also attracting interest from Turkish giants Galatasary and Besiktas.
Should Newcastle be targeting Marouane Fellaini?
At the age of 34, Fellaini isn’t the answer long-term. But after signing Kieran Trippier and being in talks with Burnley striker Chris Wood, the Belgian may fit the billing of what Newcastle are seemingly targeting in the January transfer window.
Similar to Wood, Fellaini has already showcased his physical qualities in the Premier League where he scored 37 goals and made 25 assists from 260 appearances.
With Callum Wilson out injured for the next couple of months, Howe may be considering adopting a more direct approach to his team’s play.
With Trippier whipping in inviting crosses into Wood from the right-hand side, Howe may see Fellaini as an intriguing option to play the second striker role, where he could link-up with Wood. It could be similar to the partnership the New Zealand international had at Burnley with Ashley Barnes.
The central midfielder would improve the Magpies when attacking and defensive set pieces, but at the age of 34 question marks may be raised about his ability to get around the pitch in the Premier League once again.
It’s no disrespect to the Chinese league, but coming back to the pace and tempo of the Premier League may be beyond Fellaini as he enters the later stages of his career, which is a completely different proposition.
It would be a surprising move to see Fellaini wearing the black and white, but at this stage it seems nothing more than speculation.
There are better options out there for Howe and with having the world’s richest owners, a move for Fellaini would be more of an act of desperation rather a master-stroke. If there really is a move, of course…
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