Football

Fletcher tweet bucks transfer tantrum trend

Fletcher has commanded a £12m bid from Sunderland. (©GettyImages)
Fletcher has commanded a £12m bid from Sunderland. (©GettyImages).

Steven Fletcher has been heavily criticised for his recent outburst on Twitter, whereby the Wolves striker revealed he had handed in a written transfer request to leave Molineux.

But, it's actually quite refreshing to see a player speaking so openly and honestly about a transfer saga that has threatened to engulf the Championship club for most of the summer.

The 25-year-old, who signed from Burnley in a club record £7million deal two years ago, presented his request to Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey and manager Stale Solbakken at the club's training ground yesterday, amid growing interest from Sunderland.

Fletcher later took to the social networking site, saying: "Just handed in a transfer request just to let the fans know where I am at right now.... #headsgone".

Wolves have since confirmed the Scotland international's desire to leave, but insist they are determined not to let him go for a fee below what they feel is the player's true market value.

"Wolves can confirm that Steven Fletcher has handed in an official transfer request," read the official club statement. "The player's frustration stems from the fact that several bids have been rejected for his services, none of which meets the club's valuation.

"As previously stated, no player will leave Wolves unless the club's valuation is met. Wolves will be making no further comment at this time."

An initial £10million bid from the Black Cats was rejected, with Wolves mindful that Burnley are entitled to a slice of any future transfer fee, so Martin O'Neill came back with an improved £12million offer, for a player that scored 12 Premier League goals last season.

Fletcher, who signed a four-year contract with an option for a fifth year when he made the move from Turf Moor in 2010, has not featured in any of Wolves' pre-season fixtures for the past two weeks, due to a minor ankle injury.

In truth, there is every possibility that Solbakken is keen not to have a potentially disruptive influence in and around the first-team dressing room, as the Wolves boss focuses on the club's promotion push back to the Premier League in 2012-13.

Player power seems to have more influence in today's transfer market, and it's now commonly accepted to hear of a footballer forcing through a move for their own benefit. Whether they, or their agent, are crying on in a newspaper or tweet, 'he's gone as far as he could' or 'he wants a bigger challenge' in an attempt to engineer a transfer to a desired club, the real motivation is nearly always money.

Constantly craving the highest wage possible, clubs outside the Premier League's elite are struggling to meet the sky high demands, which are driven up even further by reported interest from one of the 'big six'. For that reason, it always makes better financial sense to give a player the move he wants, rather than having him linger round a stadium he doesn't want to call home any longer.

Robin van Persie's future is almost certainly away from north London, after the Arsenal captain made clear his intentions not to renew his contract beyond 2013 at the start of July. So, it's a bit of a surprise why Arsene Wenger hasn't already negotiated a sale.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed his interest in taking the 28-year-old to Old Trafford, but talks between the two clubs over a fee - somewhere between £20-25million - have reached an impasse.

Some players have gone further, taking action into their own hands with threats of striking. This summer has already seen want-away Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric refuse to travel on pre-season tour, as he looks to push through a move to Real Madrid. The Croatian was fined two-weeks' wages by Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, and has since apologised to the fans for his actions, but is still set to get his move to Spain.

Few people need reminding of Carlos Tevez's mid-season strike, which started as early as September 2011, in Manchester City's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich. The Argentine substitute refused to come on when ordered by Roberto Mancini, and was later reprimanded before facing a five-month spell on the sidelines.

After a transfer failed to materialise in January, Tevez returned from his self-imposed exile and played a part in City's end-of-season run-in, to help the club secure its first Premier League title. Despite that, the 28-year-old's future at the Etihad Stadium remains far from certain, and it would be no surprise to see the journeyman striker modelling different colours again in 2012-13.

Manchester United experienced the troublesome side to Tevez when his promising spell at Old Trafford ended on a sour note - proving that player power can affect even the biggest clubs. In 2010, Wayne Rooney threatened to quit after claiming he disagreed with the direction the club was heading. However, the Red Devils wasted little time in sorting out their differences with the star striker, securing Rooney to a new long-term contract.

Lacklustre performances are another indication that a player wants out. Ultimately, there's no avoiding it. Fans crave loyalty in an age where stars pledging their allegiances, or signing new contracts, relatively speaking, means absolutely nothing.

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Steven Fletcher
Wolverhampton Wanderers

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