Manchester United remain hopeful that Marouane Fellaini will sign a new contract, with Jose Mourinho eager to keep the versatile Belgian.
The 30-year-old midfielder has entered the final six months of his current deal, meaning that he is free to speak with any interested parties outside of England.
Fellaini has not always been a fan favourite during his time with the Red Devils, but Mourinho considers him to be an important member of his squad and is still looking for fresh terms to be thrashed out before an experienced performer slips the net and lands in the free agent pool.
“It’s a very important player for me and is a great professional that is giving everything he can to help the team and there is a desire from myself, the board and the player to stay together,” said the Portuguese tactician.
“That’s our objective. Are we going to reach, to agree?
"I don’t know but what I know is that myself, the board and the player we would like to have a happy year."
Pressed further on whether he is feeling more optimistic about Fellaini committing his future to United, Mourinho added: “In relation to Marouane? No, no. I’m happy with his contribution.
"I think he’s been a great professional for us and I know that he wants to stay with us and that is very important.
“He knows I want him and the club wants him and I think that’s very important for him.
"But then there is a paper to sign but you only sign the paper when you are happy with what’s on the paper. So let’s see what will happen.”
Fellaini recently missed nine Premier League fixtures with a knee injury, but is back to full fitness now and has returned to Mourinho’s plans.