by Greg O’Keeffe

MAROUANE FELLAINI is facing a race against time to be fit for Everton’s Premier League opener against Manchester United after missing their final pre-season friendly with a groin complaint.

Everton FC's Marouane Fellaini faces race against time to be fit for clash with Premier League opener against Manchester United

The influential midfielder was unable to take part in Saturday’s defeat at Malaga after suffering the injury before kick-off, and will undergo intensive treatment this week in the hope that he can face the Red Devils at Goodison.

It will represent a headache for David Moyes, whose personnel options were already depleted after he agreed to sell Jack Rodwell to Manchester City in a shock £12m move.

The 21-year-old completed his surprise switch to the Etihad stadium yesterday, with Everton’s manager ready to quickly scour the market and re-invest some of the fee on much-needed new faces including another striker and a right-sided midfielder.

Everton received the £12m up front and could receive another £4m based on add-on clauses as Rodwell progresses with City and England.

The Birkdale-born player has been at Everton since the age of seven, making his senior debut in 2007, aged 16, and was quick to thank the club for nurturing his career.

He said: “I would like to place on record my thanks to everyone at Everton Football Club. The manager has been brilliant for me and helped make me the player that I am today.