West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has revealed that a deal for Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher could still be done by the end of the January transfer window, despite ongoing difficulties.
The Hammers boss made it clear in a press conference this morning, as relayed by BBC Sport, that the speculation surrounding the potential capture of Fletcher wasn’t just hot air, and that an agreement could yet be reached by Monday.
Over the past few days the subject has been approached carefully by media sources, with the Scotland international’s position as one of United’s most senior figures making a deal appear unlikely from the outside.
However any doubters of the feasibility of such a move have been silenced by Allardyce today, as the 60-year-old confirmed that business may be conducted.
"It's still a possibility. But it's not absolutely certain," he said.
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"It's still a possibility. But it's not absolutely certain"
With Fletcher having seemingly slipped down the pecking order at Old Trafford since Louis van Gaal’s arrival at the club - he was demoted from vice-captain before Christmas - it makes sense to assume that a move away suits all parties.
Though the 30-year-old has been a leal servant for the Red Devils since 2003 the squad that Van Gaal is looking to assemble has no room for players retained out of courtesy, and at Allardyce’s West Ham he would likely have the guarantee of regular game-time.
If Fletcher is sold then Van Gaal could turn his attentions to the transfer market in a last minute bid to land a replacement before the January window slams shut. In the past few weeks Morgan Schneiderlin has been mooted as a possible target for both the 63-year-old and bitter rivals Arsenal, though the Southampton ace is sure to be retained until at least the summer by Ronald Koeman.
End of an era
That scenario wouldn’t necessarily leave Van Gaal short in the middle of the park, but Fletcher’s absence would be felt both on and off the field. Along with Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick the defensive midfielder is a stalwart at Old Trafford and his departure would be another indication that the era of United fielding one-club men may well be over.