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07/08/2012 08:22

Papers: Fletcher surprise

A reporter writes in the The Daily Telegraph...

Fletcher to train with Scotland
Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher will meet up and train with the Scotland squad this week, manager Craig Levein has announced. The 28 year-old's career was seemingly in the balance when United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed last month that the Scotland captain was yet to return to training following a long-standing chronic bowel complaint. But Levein, who named his squad for the upcoming friendly with Australia this morning, confirmed Fletcher is now on his way back to playing competitive football for the first time since November. Fletcher was restricted to just 10 appearances last term, his most recent coming against Benfica at Old Trafford in November. He turned out just twice in the final weeks of the previous campaign, when the illness first took hold, and last featured for Scotland in a 3-1 defeat to Spain last October. But when asked if Fletcher could have a role in the national set-up if he had to retire from playing, Levein revealed his captain is on the long road to recovery. "Darren will be with us at the weekend, he is back in training and he played 45 minutes in a practice match last week," he said. "He is not in the squad because he has not played for Manchester United but he will come back and do a bit of training with us."

In transfer rumours, reports both conflict and agree on United's reported pursuit of Lucas Moura. The Mail and Express claim the Reds have been outbid by Paris St Germain, while the Mirror insists the lofty financial demands of the Brazilian's agent and family members have forced United to walk away from the deal.

Fear not, for Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt has already volunteered his services as an alternative transfer target. The fastest man in history said: “People think I am joking, but if Alex Ferguson called me up and said: ‘Okay, let’s do this. Come and have a trial’, it would be impossible for me to say: 'No'. I am in Britain for a few more days. If Alex Ferguson wants to give me a call he knows where I am.”

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