Darren Fletcher could leave Manchester United in January

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Darren Fletcher could be set to leave Manchester United in January, with reports suggesting that such a potential exit for the midfielder is becoming a real possibility.

According to the latest speculation that comes courtesy of the Sunday People, the increased midfield options available to manager Louis van Gaal following a busy transfer window has left the Scottish international's future subject to increasing doubt.

No shortage of interest

If Fletcher was indeed to depart Old Trafford when the winter window opens in the new year, then it appears there will be no shortage of rivals Premier League interest in his signature.

Indeed, the same source suggests that Aston Villa, Hull and Stoke are believed to be keen on a loan move for the 30-year-old and each of those three clubs are expected to make their interest concrete at the next available opportunity.

Respect for Fletcher

Fletcher is rightly revered as somewhat of a crowd favourite at Manchester United. While the likes of Angel di Maria, Daley Blind and Ander Herrera may have overtaken him in the pecking order under Van Gaal, he still commands enormous respect for successfully returning to the fold after battling ulcerative colitis during recent years. 

Having made just 11 top-flight appearances for the Red Devils over two seasons, Fletcher - who has been with the club for a total of almost two decades - featured on 12 occasions under David Moyes last term having made his comeback following surgery as a second-half substitute in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa in December.

He did start in all three of Van Gaal's first Premier League games in charge of Manchester United against Swansea, Sunderland and Burnley, of course, yet has been demoted to an unused substitute against both Queens Park Rangers and Leicester City as the Dutchman's options have radically improved.

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January move makes sense

At this stage of his career and with Van Gaal expected to make yet more high-profile and expensive additions to his squad moving forward, a move elsewhere could well be in Fletcher's best interests in January.

With a wealth of experience at the very highest level under his belt, the softly-spoken Scot  - who was named as Manchester United's vice-captain behind Wayne Rooney earlier this summer - could certainly be an enormous asset to the likes of Villa or Stoke and his leadership qualities should stand in him in good stead to succeed elsewhere.

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