Van Gaal plays down Fletcher transfer

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has denied rumours Darren Fletcher is set to leave the club this month.

Rumours have persisted in the last week or so that the Scotland international has offers from West Ham United and Spanish side Valencia but Van Gaal has denied that one of his ‘three captains’ is leaving.

The midfielder’s contract expires in June and is now free to speak to other clubs about a bosman move away in the summer. However, should any club want Fletcher now United will expect a fee in return.

He is a Manchester United player. He is one of my three captains,” Van Gaal said.

The 30-year-old returned from a serious illness when it appeared he may never play football again and his attitude towards the game means he remains popular among supporters.

But Fletcher’s performances this season have slipped and he was replaced as vice-captain by Michael Carrick over Christmas due to a lack of games. The midfielder was subbed at half-time against Aston Villa before Christmas but Scotland assistant manager Mark McGhee believes he can go on and succeed away from Old Trafford.

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