Toffee Fellaini faces sticky time
Soccer:Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini will not be disciplined for suggesting he wanted to leave next year. His comments, made while on international duty, are known to have been greeted with disappointment and surprise by the club.
Sources insist the 24-year-old has never given any indication of angling for a move having signed a lucrative five-year contract last November.
Press Association Sport understands Fellaini will not be subject to sanctions when he returns to the club’s Finch Farm training ground later this week, although he may have to explain himself to manager David Moyes, and club officials hope the Belgian will be wiser for the experience.
Fellaini sought to diffuse the comments, which it is understood he does not deny saying during a press conference after training with his national side in Anderlecht on Saturday, by issuing a statement on his Facebook page.
“I was very surprised to read in some newspapers that I will leave Everton very soon and perhaps next January,” he wrote. “Let me remind you that I am very happy in Liverpool and our start of the championship was good.
“Kevin Mirallas and some other good players joined us to make a better squad. So with Everton, I am ready to play all the season and to reach our goals of this season.”
Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reported Fellaini as saying: “I have started my fifth season at Everton. This will be one of my last seasons. I have seen everything. In January, or at the end of the season, I will look for another club or league.”
Everton saw a loan deal for Fellaini’s compatriot Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe fall through after FIFA refused to ratify the transfer on Friday and it seems unlikely they will seek to overturn that decision. While the Toffees have said they will assess all available options before considering an appeal, their only probable avenue of recourse is through the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
That could take months rather than weeks and, as the agreement with Club Brugge was only for a loan a lengthy appeal process does not seem likely as the transfer window reopens in January. Everton are understood to be unhappy FIFA took a week to come to their conclusion, but the problem appears to have been encountered in Belgium.
The Toffees had their necessary paperwork registered in time for the 11pm deadline only for them to discover Brugge had not quite managed to do the same at their end.
While the Premier League and English FA supported Everton’s claims, as the deal required international clearance it had to be sanctioned by FIFA and they would not rubber stamp it.