Former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has hit back at claims that his move to Shandong Luneng was purely for the money.
The Belgian midfielder departed Old Trafford for the Chinese Super League at the beginning of this month after five-and-a-half years with the Red Devils, following on from his five seasons at Everton.
After signing a two-year extension in the summer, the 31-year-old saw his game-time drop this season, before interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to cash in on him in a £10million deal.
With a rumoured £235,000-a-week paycheque, the Belgium international has doubled his earnings, but he insists the move was for the chance of regular football, not a lucrative salary.
“Not me,” he told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.
“I see this as a challenge at a club that has it all. Literally. You should see our medical and technical facilities. I love being here.
“With the Asian Champions League, I’ll have to play two games a week here as well.
“I won’t be able to get more rest than in England every week. But okay, it’s true that the intensity is different here.”
Fellaini, who could make his debut in Luneng’s CSL opener against Beijing Renhe next Friday, spoke of how he departed Manchester with his head held high, knowing he left a “respected player”.
“My first season in Manchester was difficult, but I left as a respected player,” he explained.
“I gave my very best for this club, played so many games and almost only scored important goals.”
After working with an array of world class players and managers at Old Trafford, Fellaini was unable to pick any favourites.
“I worked with super players and managers at one of the biggest clubs in the world. Then you can only look back with a smile,” he added.
“I really don’t have a favourite (manager). David Moyes or Louis van Gaal. I learned something from every manager.”
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