West Brom finalize late move for Man United's Darren Fletcher

BY foxsports • February 2, 2015

West Brom have completed an 11th-hour swoop for Manchester United vice-captain Darren Fletcher.

Fletcher was set to join West Ham last Friday, but talks broke down and West Brom stepped in to take the 31-year-old off United's hands.

Fletcher reported to United's team hotel in Manchester on deadline day, where the squad are staying ahead of their FA Cup replay against Cambridge, but he quickly left after the Baggies came calling.

The Scot drove to the Midlands on Monday evening for a medical, which he passed, and the club announced the deal had gone through just after midnight.

West Brom tweeted: "Albion are delighted to welcome Darren Fletcher on free transfer. Our new No.24 has signed a 2.5 year deal with a 12-month option #wba".

Fletcher later told West Brom's website: "It feels great. This is a fantastic new challenge for me in my career.

"I've spent my career at Manchester United and it's all I've ever known.

"But I felt it was the right time to move and I'm not sentimental about doing that - I have great memories obviously, but I'm now a West Bromwich Albion player and I cannot wait to get going.

"Everyone involved in making the deal happen has been fantastic. And a big reason I'm here is because of the head coach.

"He has impressed me from the first minute. When someone shows how much they want you it's a great feeling."

West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace was happy overall with the business his club did on deadline day.

"We did not get all the business done that we might have but we are thrilled to bring in a player and a character of Darren's calibre," Peace said.

"His reputation in the game goes before him. We have recruited a leader on the pitch and off it and a fantastic footballer who is used to setting and following the highest standards - he will be a major addition to our squad.

"We were disappointed for Carlton because he was also excited about joining us but for reasons which were beyond our control we could not complete the deal. The same can be said for the proposal involving Martin Olsson and Graham.

"But we have always maintained that January is a difficult time to do business and we are very happy with the deals we have done in bringing Callum (McManaman) and Darren to the club."

Fletcher has played 342 times for United, but his experience has not been able to earn him a place in Louis van Gaal's starting XI this term.

United told their vice-captain earlier this month that he could leave on a free transfer.

Although Albion succeeded in their bid to sign Fletcher from United, they failed to land another of their targets.

Striker Carlton Cole drove to West Brom's training ground on Monday evening as he looked to complete a move from West Ham.

But the Hammers pulled the plug on the deal when it emerged that they had been unsuccessful in their bid to lure Emmanuel Adebayor from Tottenham.

Press Association Sport understands talks between Albion and Norwich over a swap deal involving Graham Dorrans and Martin Olsson collapsed.

West Brom were rumoured to be on the verge of selling record signing Brown Ideye to Qatari side Al Gharafa for €5 million (£3.8 million, $5.7 million) earlier in the day, but that move has not materialised and he will now stay with Tony Pulis' side.


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