Napoli linked with ending Fellaini's Manchester United hell - report

Marouane Fellaini Belgium

According to reports in Italy, Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is set to join Rafael Benitez's Napoli on loan.

The Red Devils have begun the new under Louis van Gaal, and new signings Luke Shaw (Southampton) and Ander Herrera (Athletic Bilbao) figure to be key players for the Dutchman for years to come. We've already seen Shaw's arrival force experienced left back Patrice Evra out of the club, with the Frenchman joining Juventus, but now the signing of Herrera could force a departure too.

It's no secret that United need to improve the centre of their midfield. It's been well known for some years now, but still they are struggling to find quality there. The hope is that Herrera will go some way to rectifying their problems, but van Gaal's pursuit of Juventus' Arturo Vidal suggests that he still wants one more central midfielder.

Of course, this would have been so different if previous manager David Moyes had spent his money wisely. Deals for Barcelona duo Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara fell apart, leaving the former Everton boss to raid his former club on deadline day for Marouane Fellaini - forking out £27.5m to do so.

It was almost grimly predictable that the Belgian would struggle at Old Trafford, such was the anguish that came with every decision Moyes made. No goals and just one assist in 21 appearances for United highlight what little impact Fellaini had, as he seemingly struggled to show the necessary technique required of a club like United.

It's therefore no surprise to see that Fellaini could leave under van Gaal, whose roots stem from the total football era of Dutch football. Reports in Italy today suggest that Napoli could be set to land Fellaini on loan, thought it is noted that the speculation comes from somewhat questionable sources.

Rafael Benitez has been looking for a central midfielder for some time, and will be familiar with Fellaini from his days on Merseyside as Liverpool boss. The Italian press strongly believe that a loan deal has been agreed between the clubs, so this one is a transfer to keep and eye on in the coming weeks - though few United fans would be sad to see the gangly 26-year-old leave.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch