Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher is poised to join West Ham on loan for the rest of the season.
The Scotland international, who has also been linked with moves to Valencia and West Brom in recent weeks, will move to Upton Park with a view to completing a permanent transfer this summer, according to the London Evening Standard.
Fletcher's current contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of the season - and United boss Louis van Gaal has no plans to offer the 30-year-old a new deal.
Van Gaal refuses to confirm or deny rumours
The Dutch coach was asked during his pre-match press conference on Thursday whether rumours that Fletcher is on the verge of a move to West Ham were true, but he refused to confirm or deny the reports.
He simply responded by saying that Fletcher is a Manchester United player and one of his three captains.
Fletcher demoted to third captain
Van Gaal, though, indicated that Fletcher was no longer part of his long-term plans by stripping the player of his role as vice-captain last month.
Fletcher, demoted to third captain, was replaced by midfield teammate Michael Carrick.
Struggles after illness
In truth the central midfielder has not looked the same player since returning from serious illness. Fletcher missed almost two full seasons after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and has struggled to produce his best form since making an unlikely return to action.
However, the fact he is back playing professional football is, in itself, a tremendous achievement. There was a stage during Fletcher's lengthy lay-off when it looked as if retirement was the most likely outcome.
Fletcher has been with Manchester United since the age of 11 and has made over 340 appearances for the Premier League giants since making his debut in 2003.
West Ham gunning for Europe
But having been reduced to a peripheral role at Old Trafford under Van Gaal, the Manchester United youth product feels the time is right to leave his current employers in search of a new opportunity elsewhere.
Fletcher will bid to help West Ham secure European football for the 2015-16 campaign. The Hammers are currently seventh in the Premier League table, just four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, after a tremendous first half of the season under Sam Allardyce.
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