Saturday 16 December 2017

Free agent Fletcher seals move to Stoke

Darren Fletcher. Photo: PA
Darren Fletcher. Photo: PA

Stoke have agreed a deal to sign West Brom captain Darren Fletcher on a free transfer.

The midfielder is out-of-contract at the end of the month and will move to the Potters when his Albion deal expires.

Fletcher had been in contract talks with the Baggies, having triggered a one-year option in his favour earlier this season, but has opted not to extend his two-and-a-half-year stay. Albion boss Tony Pulis had been confident Fletcher would stay at The Hawthorns but his departure will be a major blow to the manager.

Pulis said he was convinced a deal would be struck only two weeks ago but Fletcher is now set to join Mark Hughes at the Britannia Stadium.

Pulis held talks with the club's Chinese owners last week as they plan for next season and Fletcher will be difficult to replace.

He made 97 appearances for the club and was handed the captaincy within a week of joining from Manchester United in 2015.

Fletcher, 33, will follow Saido Berahino to Stoke after the striker moved to the Potters for £12million in January.

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