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Fletcher given free transfer by Manchester United

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Scotland international Darren Fletcher’s time at Old Trafford is up after Louis van Gaal granted the midfielder a free transfer to help him find a new club.

Fletcher, who is United’s longest-serving current player, had struggled over the past few years with the debilitating illness ulcerative colitis but after beating it he returned to the Manchester United and Scotland fold – however with the change of managers last orders have been called on Fletcher at Old Trafford.

West Bromwich Albion, Celtic, Valencia and West Ham United have all been linked with signing the former Scotland skipper with United favourites.

Fletcher signed for United when he was 11 years old and made his first team debut in March 2003 against Swiss side Basel in the Champions League, playing 73 minutes in the 1-1 draw.

Season 2003-04 saw Fletcher become an integral part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side and was called up to the Scotland squad against Norway for his first cap coming on as a substitute on the hour mark for Maurice Ross.

Fletcher made 340 appearances for United since 2003, scoring 24 goals – winning five Premier League titles, two League Cups, an FA Cup and the Champions League – although he was an unused substitute for the 2008 final against Chelsea in Moscow.

The following season he missed out of the 2009 Champions League Final defeat to Barcelona after being controversially sent off in the semi final against Arsenal, when he was adjudged wrongly to have fouled Cesc Fàbregas in the penalty area and subsequently sent off.

Whatever move Fletcher decides he has certainly been a great servant for United and will be looking to get back to full match fitness for his new club and back into the Scotland set up with the chance of qualifying for the 2016 European Championships in France.

What are your thoughts on Fletcher? His time as a player? And what does his future hold?

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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