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For sale: one Manchester United midfielder, slightly used

According to reports, just nine months after handing Everton a small-to-medium-sized fortune, United are preparing to cut their losses on Marouane Fellaini.

Alex Livesey

It was probably inevitable. According to reports in today's Times, Manchester United are looking to move Marouane Fellaini on after just one disappointing season. So if you're a football club looking for a gangly midfielder of sharp elbows, no clear position, and a first touch that hasn't been seen for a while, then we urge you look at the highlights of his Everton career. That way, the suggested £15m price tag will look pretty reasonable.

Both the timing of his purchase — the last day of the transfer window — and the price — a quite ridiculous £27.5m, inflated by a release clause that had expired the previous week — screamed panic buy, and nothing in the months that followed changed that view. While Fellaini's initial integration into United was hampered by a wrist injury, his performances once fit never returned to the level he'd shown at Everton, much less suggested that he could be part of a squad that challenges for titles. Or one that challenges for fourth place.

No word yet on who might be interested. But this is the Premier League, and Fellaini has proven himself effective when deployed in a certain, slightly agricultural manner, and unburdened by the pressure of extreme expectation. A good World Cup, and somebody will be in for him. And we'll always have that time he elbowed Pablo Zabaleta in the face. And that dribble against Bayern. And that's it.