Manchester United reject AC Milan loan bid for Marouane Fellaini

United are short on attacking options and Van Gaal is reluctant to further weaken squad

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The Independent Football

Louis van Gaal has rejected a bid from AC Milan to take Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini on loan at the San Siro.

Fellaini, a £27.5m signing from Everton in August 2013, has started just four Premier League games for United this season and has struggled to convince Van Gaal of his merits as a regular starter.

The Belgium international’s fall down the pecking order at Old Trafford had prompted Milan to approach United about a potential loan move, ahead of a permanent deal in the summer.

But with United currently short on attacking options following the summer departures of Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Javier Hernandez, Van Gaal is reluctant to further weaken his striking department by allowing Fellaini to leave.

Despite spending his career as a midfielder, Fellaini has been used as an auxiliary striker by Van Gaal since the Dutchman’s arrival as manager in the summer of 2014 and, at times, has given United a decisive alternative when chasing games.

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Van Gaal has backed strikers Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial up-front, however, and with opportunities increasingly limited in midfield, Fellaini faces an extended diet of substitute appearances in the coming months before assessing his future at the end of the season.