Fletcher’s Manchester United future still remains uncertain
Question marks remain over Darren Fletcher's future as he battles a bowel problem.
Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher is yet to attempt a comeback from his chronic bowel complaint.
Fletcher has been absent since last December after United confirmed the precise mystery ‘virus’ that had been affecting the midfielder since the previous campaign.
And while Ferguson insisted the Old Trafford outfit would provide Fletcher with “all the time he needs”, there must now be some doubt over the Scotland star ever playing at the highest level again.
“He has not started training with us,” confirmed the United boss. “He has obviously got great challenges ahead. We are happy to be patient but he won’t be starting the season.
“It is unfortunate because he is such a magnificent professional and such a nice lad. If it doesn’t work for him, he knows he has a position at the club anyway,” Ferguson added.
Ferguson was speaking at a press conference to unveil his two summer signings so far, England U18 international Nick Powell and Shinji Kagawa, who has signed from German double-winners Borussia Dortmund.
And the United manager is keen to add at least one more new face to his squad before the quest to regain the Premier League title from Manchester City begins next month.
“There will possibly be one more,” he said. “We have always done well in terms of getting players in at the end of the season. That is the right time.
“But always in a European Championship or World Cup year, there is a delay in the transfer industry.”
Meanwhile, in welcoming Powell from Crewe, Ferguson repeated his claim that Paul Pogba, who has left for Juventus, treated the Red Devils with a “lack of respect”.
“We were disappointed in Paul Pogba, there is no question about that,” added the Scot. “He showed a lack of respect to the club. But he has made his decision now.
“Although we always felt he was going, he never indicated it until he left. That was disappointing.”
United are the 9/4 second favourites for the 2012/13 Premier League season, which kicks off in under three-weeks-time. Champions Manchester City are currently trading as the 5/4 favourites.
The Red Devils can be backed at odds of 7/1 for the 2013 League Cup and at 6/1 for the FA Cup. Ladbrokes offers a range of team specials and they price Ferguson’s side at 14/1 to complete the League and FA Cup double.
On August 20, United will start their League campaign at Goodison Park, where they are priced as the 4/5 match favourites to take all three points against David Moyes’ Everton, who are 3/1 to win.
Both sides sensationally drew 4-4 at Old Trafford last April in what proved a costly two dropped points for United, who led twice against the Toffees and allowed City back into the title race which they won in May.
A draw between the sides is available here at Ladbrokes at odds of 11/5.