Darren Fletcher has signed for West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer.
Fletcher, 31, was granted permission by Manchester United to speak with the West Ham after seeing out his previous contract with the Old Trafford outfit. That deal eventually fell through with manager Louis van Gaal confirming, after Saturday’s 3-1 win over Leicester, that the Hammers had requested “for a loan” instead of a permanent transfer.
Over 48 hours later, West Brom, who on their own had worked had to boost their squad, came up with the right offer and the deal was done.
The Scotland international central midfielder penned a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Premier League side late on transfer deadline day.
The deal brought to an end a 12-year long journey with United’s first team squad for Fletcher, who joined the club’s youth academy as an 11-year-old in 2000. He played 342 games for the Red Devils and scored 24 times, winning 12 trophies.
Fletcher is one of football survivors having undergone surgery to correct ulcerative colitis, which forced him to miss nearly a year of football.
He was named United’s third captain by Van Gaal, under whom he made 12 appearances in all competitions.
United have also loaned 22-year-old attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard to Championship club Derby County on loan until the end of the season.
The club signed two players in the January transfer window; Victor Valdes and promising Libyan right-back Sadiq El Fitouri.
El Fitouri joined from Salford City last Friday and has linked up with the club’s Under-21 side.