Mourinho hopeful on Fellaini future and wants Blind, Darmian to stay

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is still hopeful Marouane Fellaini will sign a new contract.

The Belgium international's deal expires at the end of the season, but Mourinho said on Sunday he is confident the player will stay.

Fellaini, who scored the winner against Arsenal last weekend, cast doubt on his future in an interview with Sport/Voetbalmagazine when he criticised United for not extending his contract last year.

Mourinho still thinks Fellaini wants to remain at the club, although he would accept it if the 30-year-old decided to leave.

"I'm still positive," he told a news conference on Thursday. "He's important, he's a player that I like, but again, he has a different position in relation to other players with a contract, because players with a contract we can control their destiny in a different way. In Marouane's case, the destiny is in his hands.

"Maraoune knows I want him to stay and the club wants him to stay, he has an offer from us and it's up to him. I'm still positive because I feel that he likes to be here, he likes the feeling that the manager trusts him and there is a good chance for him to stay. But if he leaves, so be it."

It has been reported Mourinho is happy to listen to offers for Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind, but the Portuguese denied suggestions the defenders are no longer required.

"Yeah, they are part of my plans," he said. "When a player wants to go, if that's the case, and when the right offers arrive, we study that because we always try to have the players happy.

"So, if happiness means for them to leave, let's see what happens. But they are in my plans. I don't want to sell."

Mourinho also explained that Eric Bailly has been used sparingly in recent weeks because he wants to give United's other defenders the chance to earn a World Cup spot.

Bailly's last appearance was in the 3-2 derby win over Manchester City on April 7, and Mourinho suggested he is allowing his "emotional" side to come through by giving Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof more opportunities.

 "There is no situation [with Bailly]," he said. "He's fine, no injury, he is one of our five central defenders.

"Honestly, my work is not about World Cups and preparing players for the World Cup or giving chances to players for the World Cup. But he's the only central defender whose county is not in the World Cup so if I have to make a more emotional, more effective choice for my players, then he is the one I'm not going to help before the end of the season.

"Rojo, Lindelof, Jones, Smalling, all of them are wishing to make the squad for the World Cup. Bailly is not under that pressure.

"I try not to [be emotional], I try to be a good team manager and that means to be a bit cold, bit selfish, but I'm not as bad as that and I have a little bit of space for that feeling. So, when I look at the other central defenders, fighting for the World Cup, I give less to Eric."

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