Jose Mourinho has revealed the phone call he had with Marouane Fellaini that re-established the midfielder’s future at Manchester United after reports he was leaving the club.
The Red Devils boss is pleased with how the Belgium international has played in their Premier League wins over Bournemouth and Southampton, alongside teammates Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick and Paul Pogba in central midfield.
The phone call, shared earlier this summer, is said to have given Fellaini the reassurance that he wanted by Mourinho and changed their relationship for the better.
- Burnley striker Andre Gray asks for “forgiveness” over homophobic tweets
- Barcelona chief confirms agreement with Manchester City over Claudio Bravo transfer
- Neymar inspires Brazil to Olympic gold with triumph over Germany in Rio
“Fellaini is playing well,” Mourinho told the club’s official website. “It’s a complete change in the relationship and I am happy with the result.
“Maybe a simple phone call can make a difference to a player who was feeling he was not loved, to a player who when the [transfer] market opened everyone was saying he was leaving. Everyone was saying he wasn’t for me.
“Maybe a simple phone call then, after my presentation as Manchester United manager, changed a lot. I said to him, ‘Forget everything you read. With me you don’t leave, for sure’.
“Maybe that confidence in him was unexpected. The more organised the team is, the easier it is for players to feel confident.”
Fellani, who maintained an 83% average pass accuracy during 18 league appearances for United last season, has performed well in a defensive midfield role during the first two games of the new term.
With an average of five defensive actions against Southampton and Bournemouth, as well as a 94% average pass accuracy, Fellani will be looking to help United finish higher this season following their fifth-place effort under Louis van Gaal.
Two goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford on Friday night secured Mourinho’s third win in as many games in charge of the Red Devils.
- Leicester hold firm to deny Arsenal
- Premier league: Man City and Chelsea win as Liverpool lose at Burnley
- Man Utd boss Mourinho explains why he has not been playing Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Culled from Squawka