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West Ham in talks to sign Man Utd midfielder

Fletcher looks set to leave Man Utd. Credit: PA

Sam Allardyce has confirmed West Ham are one of the clubs chasing Darren Fletcher but claims the Hammers are yet to speak to the Manchester United midfielder.

Fletcher, who has made 342 appearances for the Red Devils, has only six months left on his contract at Old Trafford and is struggling to establish himself under new boss Louis van Gaal.

"We've had no permission to speak to Darren Fletcher," Allardyce said.

"He's got quite a few clubs interested in him so when he makes his mind up everyone will know.

"I don't know what the timeline is. If any of the other packages offered to him are accepted then we would accept that.

"Or if they hadn't made their mind up or were negotiating somewhere else that would be it. We can't wait forever.

"I always think at this stage of the window, if you do get something nailed on you have to take it because you might end up with nothing if you don't."

Tony Pulis recently admitted West Brom are in talks to sign the 30-year-old Scot.


4-4-2 gives Van Gaal a 'twitch' in his backside

4-4-2 gives Van Gaal a twitch in his backside. Credit: PA

Louis van Gaal says he feels an uncomfortable "twitch" in his backside every time Manchester United play 4-4-2.

Van Gaal faced open criticism from United fans for the first time last week when a section of the travelling support away at QPR demanded he ditch his 3-5-2 formation and switch to a more expansive 4-4-2 system.

We have won more with 4-4-2 in a diamond, but when you analyse the game then we have twitched our a** on the bench. I have twitched my a** because we were out of balance.

I told my players I was squeezing my a** but it was the wrong expression.

All the matches when we play 4-4-2 like against West Ham United (when 10-man United scraped a 2-1 win) it was always twitching your a** and I don't like it.

– Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal.


Man United legend Gary Neville considering move from punditry into football management

Gary Neville will decide in the next 18 months whether he wants to quit his job as a television pundit and go into management.

Would Neville make a top class manager? Credit: PA

Neville has become a popular and respected pundit since he retired from football and signed with Sky four years ago.

His views have been so well-received that he has been tipped to go into management and he already has a coaching role within the England set-up.

And Neville is not ruling out moving into football management, it seems. When asked during a Twitter Q&A whether he would consider becoming a manager, the former Manchester United captain said: "I have a decision to make in the next 18 months."

Neville, who played 602 times for United, currently holds his UEFA A and B coaching licences.

His brother Phil was part of David Moyes' coaching staff at United, but left soon after the Scot's dismissal last April.

Team news: Van Persie returns for Man United FA Cup tie

Robin van Persie is back in contention. Credit: PA

Striker Robin van Persie has recovered from an ankle injury and is available for Manchester United's FA Cup fourth round tie at Cambridge on Friday.

Defenders Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling are unavailable due to unspecified injuries, but left-back Luke Shaw is back after missing last weekend's win over QPR.

Right-back Rafael is available after recovering from the fractured cheekbone he sustained in the third-round win over Yeovil but Ashley Young (hamstring) remains sidelined.

Provisional squad: De Gea, Lindegaard, Valdes, Vermijl, Blackett, Shaw, Rojo, Jones, McNair, Rafael, Pereira, Blind, Fellaini, Fletcher, Herrera, Valencia, Lingard, Anderson, Carrick, Powell, Januzaj, Di Maria, Mata, Falcao, Rooney, Van Persie, Wilson.

Man United boss expects Cambridge aerial battle

Louis van Gaal expects Cambridge to launch an aerial bombardment at his Manchester United side when they arrive at the Abbey Stadium on Friday.

After beating Luton in the third round, Cambridge were handed the money-spinning live television tie they were after when they were pitted against United.

Louis van Gaal is expecting a stiff neck. Credit: PA

"Cambridge play very direct, with long balls. They have five or six players above 1m 90cm (6ft 3in) so for us it's difficult to defend and that's why you have to prepare yourself very good," the United manager said.

"It's not so easy to beat Cambridge United."

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