Does Fellaini contract saga show decline in Manchester United's stature?

Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on April 29,...

The 30-year-old has signed a new two-year deal with Manchester United.

Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United looks dejected in defeat after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester United and Sevilla FC at Old Trafford on...

Manchester United announced on Friday that Marouane Fellaini had signed a new two-year contract, keeping the Belgian midfielder at the club until 2020.

The announcement ended a contract saga that has stretched across most of the season, flaring up recently when Fellaini told the press he would announce where he would be playing next year on 1 July, the day after his current contract at United expired. 

United's announcement ruled out the Belgian's chance to make an Antoine Griezmann-esque 'decision' but the whole saga emphasised the club's reduced stature. 

Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United celebrates scoring the third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on September 30, 2017...

The signing itself is not a bad one, Jose Mourinho had made it clear he wanted to keep the physical midfielder, and Fellaini has been an effective Plan B for United, scoring some important goals for the club.

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But the fact that United have allowed themselves to be strung along by a 30-year-old squad player, who is far from a fan favourite, has made the club look foolish and shows that they may not have the power and respect they once held.

Manchester United's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini celebrates scoring  the team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Crystal...

It is not a situation that would have happened under Sir Alex Ferguson, whose famous mantra that 'no player is bigger than the club' saw plenty more talented than Fellaini leave Old Trafford in his tenure, including current teammate Paul Pogba.

On top of a season which saw United finish 16 points off Premier League champions, and local rivals, Manchester City and exit the Champions League at the hands of Sevilla in the round of 16, the way the situation unfolded does not reflect well on a club that consider itself one of the biggest, if not the biggest, in the world.

 

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