Fletcher reveals Ferguson talk that ended thoughts of quitting
Darren Fletcher has revealed Sir Alex Ferguson sought him out for a chat in 2008 that ended any thoughts of the Scotland skipper quitting Manchester United.
Although Fletcher never got as far as demanding to leave Old Trafford, having been left out of the starting line-up for the Champions League final triumph over Chelsea and been only a peripheral figure in the last few weeks of another title-winning season, the 26-year-old was harbouring some doubts.
With just a year remaining on his contract and plenty of clubs, including Birmingham, who manager Alex McLeish knew Fletcher well from their international days, expressing an interest, the midfielder knew he would not be short of offers if he decided to head through the United exit door.
But Ferguson was determined to ensure that did not happen.
And how right that observation proved to be given Fletcher is now firmly established as one of the most effective midfielders in the Premier League.
"I was still having doubts because I was in a fairly strong position with only a year left to run on my contract," Fletcher recalled in an interview for the official Carling Cup final programme.
"If there was a time to leave it would have been a good opportunity.
"But the manager came to me. The contract talk was put to one side and our discussion was mainly about playing time.
"He said there had been offers but he didn't want me to go.
"I listened to what he had to say and just decided I did have a future at the club. Fortunately it turned out that way."
It was the fear of leaving a club he had been with since school without showing his true abilities that eventually proved decisive for the Dalkeith-born star.
"Deep down I just wanted to show what I was capable of," he said.
"It was never a case of going on to the pitch worried but maybe it wasn't coming across on the pitch.
"I would have hated to leave having not shown people what I could do.
"That would have been a genuine disappointment, something I would have looked back on and regretted.
"That is what drove me on and what I want to keep maintaining now because I want to be here for the rest of my career and leave some sort of mark on the club."
Latest in Sport
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'