AC Milan believe they are close to signing Marouane Fellaini after he turned down a new contract at Manchester United.
United are still expected to make an improved offer to Fellaini, who will be a free agent next month, and sources close to the Belgium midfielder have not ruled out the possibility that he could stay at Old Trafford.
But it emerged last week that a big European club had entered the bidding, and Milan’s sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli confirmed on the Sunday that the Italians have made their move.
Milan are understood to have offered Fellaini, 30, a three-year deal. The player has been looking for personal terms of around £120,000-a-week.
‘Fellaini? He could be an important player. In fact, he is an important player,’ said Mirabelli. ‘We know that he is not renewing his contract with Manchester United, but it is difficult to say if we have closed it.
‘He has important parameters. We will do something in that role, but with maximum discretion. We will close a deal first before we announce a player.’ Fellaini missed the FA Cup final as he recovers from a muscle strain, but is expected to be fit to play for Belgium at the World Cup.
He has spent five years at United since following David Moyes from Everton for £27.5million in the summer of 2013 as the first signing of the post-Ferguson era at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho is keen to keep Fellaini, even though he has not always been popular with some supporters, but those hopes appear to be dwindling.