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West Brom in reported bid to sign Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher

West Bromwich Albion, 10/3 with Coral to be relegated this season, have reportedly contacted Manchester United regarding the availability of 30-year-old midfielder Darren Fletcher.

The Scotland captain has started just four times under boss Louis van Gaal this season and, with a number of players competing for his position, he may find further opportunities limited.

Michael Carrick, who recently replaced him as vice-captain in the squad, Marouane Fellaini and new signings Daley Blind and Ander Herrera are all competing for the same position, and the fact that Van Gaal has pushed skipper Wayne Rooney further back into a midfield berth, Fletcher’s chances will be even slimmer.

Fletcher also has his international career to think about, with the European Championships taking place next year, and Scotland in with a chance of qualifying. Playing week-in week-out will not only improve his chances of making the squad, but crucially ensure he retains the captaincy.

There is no doubt that most clubs in the Premier League would benefit from a player of Fletcher’s experience and quality, West Brom being one of them. They are currently 14th in the Premier League, just two points off the relegation zone, and new manager Tony Pulis is renowned for turning around the fortunes of struggling clubs by signing hard-working, combative players who have the stomach to engage in a fight for survival.

In Fletcher’s role at The Hawthorns, there is Claudio Yacob and Youssouf Mulumbu, though the Scotland skipper will add more composure and experience in the heart of their midfield. One of the Scot’s strengths is his ability to keep the ball, and usually always finds a fellow teammate, plus the fact that he is strong in the tackle, reads the game well and works hard.

These are all traits which Pulis admires and if he can land the player, even on-loan, it would give the Baggies a significant chance of staying in the Premier League.