Marouane Fellaini has expressed a desire to fight for his place at Manchester United.
The Belgian midfielder had reportedly been close to a January exit, with Napoli the closest team to securing his signature, but no deal materialised and he is now looking to force his way back into Louis Van Gaal's thinking.
Fellaini has been much maligned since arriving at Old Trafford, with his performances generally short of the quality required to make the grade at United, but it appears that he hopes to be given a second chance under the new manager's stewardship.
“I want to fight for my place,” Fellaini is quoted as saying by the Guardian. “The coach wants to play with the 11 players who make the best team. I want to be part of that.
“I’ve had a meeting with the coach before the start of the season where he told me that there is a lot of competition in midfield. I told him that I wanted to compete with the other players for a place in the starting XI.
“Louis van Gaal is a good coach. We have a lot of team meetings and he analyses much – other teams, our own players at training, a lot. Everywhere he has been, he was successful.”
Fellaini's task of breaking back into the first-team set-up at United looks harder then ever after their summer recruitment drive.
The Red Devils have brought in the likes of Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Angel Di Maria, who can all play in the central-midfield positions, over the summer and Fellaini, as a result, is a long way down the pecking order.
If he is to force he way back into contention his form will have to drastically improve and he will have to win over a fan-base which has begun to turn on him.
The former Everton man's first year at Old Trafford was dreadful, as he never looked close to making the grade after making a £27.5 million transfer last summer.
He has not had the best preparations for the new campaign, either, as he had been kept out of much of pre-season with injury.
His return comes at a time when United are looking rejuvenated after a summer of expense and they are expected to push on up the table when the Premier League commences again after the international break.