Newcastle have reportedly identified Marouane Fellaini as a potential midfield target this month and are plotting a surprise move for the former Manchester United star.

According to DH Sports, Newcastle United are among a slew of European clubs interested in a move for Marouane Fellaini from Chinese outfit Shandong Taishan. It has been claimed that the Magpies consider the ex-Manchester United midfielder as the ideal man to build a team around as they look to stave off relegation.

Newcastle have already set about putting their January transfer plans into action with the signing of Kieran Trippier, and the Toon look set to add Burnley target man Chris Wood to their ranks after activating his £20 million release clause. However, with reinforcements required all across the board, more signings are expected during what is expected to be a very busy month at St James’ Park.

While Newcastle’s priority remains strengthening at the back, Magpies’ boss Eddie Howe is also keen on bolstering his midfield options, especially with Isaac Hayden set to miss the next two months following knee surgery and Sean Longstaff being courted by Everton. It seems the Magpies are contemplating bringing back the former Everton star Marouane Fellaini to the Premier League.

Fellaini joined the Chinese Super League side Shandong Taishan from Manchester United in 2019. The 34-year-old has scored an impressive 30 goals and registered six assists in just 80 appearances for Taishan Dui, winning the Chinese Cup along the way.

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Indeed, the Belgian midfielder is a major player in the CSL, highlighted by his tally of 10 goals and one assist this term. It is reported that Fellaini is happy in China and has recently extended his contract. However, a sensational Premier League return could be tempting for the former Belgian international.

The 34-year-old was a contentious figure at Manchester United. He won the Europa League, FA Cup, and League Cup during his five-and-a-half season tenure at Old Trafford. Across spells at Everton and Manchester United, Fellaini has made 260 Premier League appearances and had been a handful inside the opposition box, scoring 37 goals and supplying 25 assists.

Despite spending over three years in China, the 34-year-old’s status remains high in Europe, with Galatasaray and Besiktas both keen on securing his services while he is also turning heads in the Middle East with clubs from Qatar and Dubai have taken note of his fine performances. The report also adds that with Fellaini spoiled for choices, it would take a hefty compensation package to lure the midfielder to Tyneside.

Although the Belgian international, undoubtedly, brings experience and quality, which could be vital for Newcastle in pursuit of Premier League safety, Fellaini is a bit underwhelming target and would command a highly exorbitant salary potentially dismantling the wage structure at the club. Newcastle can do well by steering clear of signing the 34-year-old.

Moreover, Fellaini’s deal with the Chinese club runs until 2025 means he would not be available on a Bosman, making it a tough deal to crack even with the mega-riches of Newcastle’s new owners. The Magpies have recently been linked to PSV’s midfield powerhouse Ibrahim Sangare, which would be a much wiser investment than going big on a mercenary like Marouane Fellaini.

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