Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was unable to explain why Darren Fletcher’s proposed move to West Ham collapsed this weekend.
Fletcher was expected to sign a contract with the Hammers after being granted a free transfer by the Red Devils - but the Scotland international has returned to Old Trafford after West Ham backed out of offering the 31-year-old a permanent deal.
Speaking after Manchester United’s 3-1 victory over Leicester City on Saturday afternoon, Van Gaal said it was “strange” that had West Ham performed an unexpected U-turn.
Van Gaal confirms Fletcher move is off
“I thought Darren was going to sign a contract,” Van Gaal told BBC Sport, according to the Daily Mail. “But at the end they look for a loan and that was not the agreement.
“When you allow your player to go to London for the medical, there is no problem. At the end there is no agreement, it is strange.
“I don't know what is happening there but the agreement is different there. On Saturday it is off.”
It was reported on Saturday - a day after Van Gaal confirmed the central midfielder had travelled to West Ham to undergo a routine medical - that Fletcher had requested a three-and-a-half-year contract worth £75,000-a-week.
Whether this had any bearing on West Ham’s final decision is currently unclear. The club’s manager, Sam Allardyce, merely confirmed the same thing as Van Gaal: that contract negotiations between the Hammers and Fletcher had come to a standstill.
Asked whether Fletcher would be signing for West Ham after the club’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, Allardyce was quoted by the Mirror as saying: “It doesn’t look like it, no. It looks like it has broken down on negotiations."