Manchester United optimistic over Darren Fletcher's return to action

Midfielder included in Champions League squad despite being sidelined by illness for 10 months
  • @jackpittbrooke

Manchester United have included Darren Fletcher and Nick Powell in their 25-man Champions League List A squad for this season. Fletcher has not played for the first team since November 2011 after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. But the Scotland international came on as a substitute in a testimonial last month and has been chosen for United's group games.

Nick Powell, the 18-year-old midfielder, has also been chosen. There are slightly tighter rules for those squads compared to Premier League squads, with only 17 non-conditional squad places available. Bebe was not included.

Manchester City's new goalkeeper Richard Wright was not included on their Champions League List A. Wright was signed this summer but City's third-choice goalkeeper, registered along with Joe Hart and Costel Pantilimon, is Norwegian 20-year-old Eirik Holmen Johansen. Along with Micah Richards and John Guidetti, Johansen qualifies as club-trained by City.

Kolo Touré, who was last night in talks with Turkish side Galatasaray, was not included on the List A either. Matija Nastasic, the new signing, was registered.

Chelsea also released their 22-man Champions League List A, and omitted Florent Malouda. The France international nearly left this summer and has not been involved so far this season. Goalkeeper Hilario was not picked either. Chelsea's A List only numbers 22 because they have only one club-trained player in John Terry and so lose spaces. Lucas Piazon, the 18-year-old forward, was included on the List A though.

Serge Gnabry, the 17-year-old German winger, was included on Arsenal's 25-man Champions League List A.

The Premier League 25-man squads were also released yesterday. After their spending spree last week Queen's Park Rangers could not register all of their over-21 players and Luke Young, D J Campbell and Radek Cerny, who did not make the list, may be loaned into the Championship next week.