Everton boss David Moyes has revealed they are keen to open new contract talks with Marouane Fellaini amid reports Chelsea want to sign him.
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The Belgian midfielder, who was snapped up from Standard Liege for £15million in 2008, still has two-and-a-half years left to run on his current deal.
The Toffees are wary of allowing that agreement to run down, though, having seen Steven Pienaar recently depart the club for Tottenham after refusing to pen fresh terms.
With money in short supply at Goodison Park, keeping Moyes’ hands tied in the transfer market, it is vital Everton are able to retain the services of their other top stars.
That includes Fellaini, who is already reported to be drawing admiring glances from Chelsea, with some reports in Sunday’s newspapers suggesting Carlo Ancelotti’s side are planning a summer swoop for the midfielder.
On the contract situation, Moyes said: "I think talks with Fellaini will start shortly because we don’t want to encourage clubs.
"We don’t want the speculation to start, so hopefully we will get him sorted.
"People will look at our club and think that we’re a selling club, that we might be vulnerable.
"In the main, we have never had to sell our best players. The ones that have left have left because they wanted to.
"I’ve always had the final decision and I hope that stays the case."
While Moyes is determined to see Fellaini stay, the 23-year-old’s father has hinted that a move to one of Europe’s top clubs could soon be in the offing.
"The big clubs can see what a good job Marouane is doing and that is why Chelsea are following him intensively," said Abdellatif Fellaini.
"In his position he’d get into the starting XI at any big club."