Everton FC: Marouane Fellaini faces race against time to be fit for clash with Manchester United
MAROUANE FELLAINI is facing a race against time to be fit for Everton’s Premier League opener against Manchester United after missing their final pre-season friendly with a groin complaint.
The influential midfielder was unable to take part in Saturday’s defeat at Malaga after suffering the injury before kick-off, and will undergo intensive treatment this week in the hope that he can face the Red Devils at Goodison.
It will represent a headache for David Moyes, whose personnel options were already depleted after he agreed to sell Jack Rodwell to Manchester City in a shock £12m move.
The 21-year-old completed his surprise switch to the Etihad stadium yesterday, with Everton’s manager ready to quickly scour the market and re-invest some of the fee on much-needed new faces including another striker and a right-sided midfielder.
Everton received the £12m up front and could receive another £4m based on add-on clauses as Rodwell progresses with City and England.
The Birkdale-born player has been at Everton since the age of seven, making his senior debut in 2007, aged 16, and was quick to thank the club for nurturing his career.
He said: “I would like to place on record my thanks to everyone at Everton Football Club. The manager has been brilliant for me and helped make me the player that I am today.
“I would like to place on record my thanks to him and all the coaching staff and players who have worked with me since I joined the academy as a seven-year-old.
“Finally, I would like to thank all the fans who have been amazing during my years at Everton. I have enjoyed every minute of my time there and I wish everyone at the club the best of luck for the new season and beyond.
“I have a special relationship with the Chairman, Mr Kenwright, who did not want me to leave but this was an opportunity I could not refuse.
“Turning to Manchester City, it is an honour to be signing for the champions. I relish the opportunity of playing with some of the best players in the world and continuing my development.”
His new manager Roberto Mancini, who is yet to win at Goodison, was less gracious. He said: “It’s a good player for our future. It’s the first time he is at a club that plays to win, and it will be different for him. But I’m sure that in a couple of years he will be a top, strong midfielder.”
The Blues were taking the positives from their narrow defeat by La Liga side Malaga at La Rosaleda stadium.
Assistant manager Steve Round said: “We got a very good, very tough workout. They’re a good team – we knew that and that’s why we took the game so close to the season starting.
“We thought we’d done enough to get a draw but Malaga finished high in their league and they’ve got some talented players.”
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