Tom Cleverley has admitted he's 'gutted' for fellow Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher after he was forced to take 'an extended break' from football.

The Scottish international skipper has been absent for large spells in the past two seasons, with a chronic inflammatory bowel condition revealed as the reason behind his problems yesterday.

After taking medical advice to rest from football, Fletcher now joins a growing list of midfield absentees, which includes Cleverley himself, but the England international is confident players can fill the void left by the 27-year-old.

"I am gutted for Fletch. I'm not too sure about what it is, but I'm afraid it is bad news for him and bad news for the team," Cleverley told Sky Sports News.

"He is a massive player for us and it is a shame, because we are having a bit of a problem in centre-midfield.

"But we have got Giggsy, Ji, Carrick, Phil Jones doing a job, and Darron Gibson still in the squad. So that's what squads are for."

Cleverley, who has been out-of-action with ankle ligament damage, went on to praise the overall impact Fletcher has made during his time as a professional at Old Trafford.

As a model professional under Sir Alex Ferguson, the 22-year-old admits Fletcher was the perfect player to try and emulate as he rose through the ranks with the Red Devils.

"He is a fantastic pro. Growing up through the ranks, he is someone that has done the same journey that I have," he added.

"So he is someone I have always looked up to."

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