Scholes and Fletcher extend Manchester United contracts

Manchester United have received a double dose of good news with Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher agreeing new contracts.

Scholes has signed a one-year deal, while Fletcher has committed himself to Old Trafford for a further three seasons.

It is a show of faith from Sir Alex Ferguson in the abilities of Scholes given the former England star, who celebrates his 34th birthday next month, has just been ruled out for 10 weeks with a knee injury.

Manager Ferguson expressed his delight at both deals, with Scholes, who has been involved in eight Premier League title wins and finally got his hands on the Champions League trophy in May after missing the 1999 triumph through suspension, extending an Old Trafford connection that dates back two decades.

"Paul is proof that if you look after yourself you can carry on playing and be rewarded at a club of this size," he said.

"He is 34 now and he has been here since he was 14. That tells you the desire and the ability he has to stay at the top."

In his own typically understated way, Scholes, who has overcome a serious eye injury that three years ago threatened his career, expressed his satisfaction at remaining with what seems certain to be his only professional club.

"It is great to sign a new deal," he said.

"Last season was fantastic but you always want to achieve more and with this team we are capable of doing just that."

Like Scholes, Fletcher is a one-club man.

Although he has rarely been a member of Ferguson's first-choice side, he is an invaluable figure in the United squad.

Denied his debut as a 16-year-old because he was still at school, Fletcher was heavily linked with a move to Birmingham last season, where he could have joined old Scotland boss Alex McLeish.

However, the 24-year-old chose to stay at Old Trafford, where his value was emphasised at the start of this season when he scored against Newcastle before getting the vital winner at Portsmouth.

"Darren is in the same vein as Paul, Ryan Giggs and Wes Brown in that he is a long-serving member of the team," said Ferguson.

"His consistency and level-headed approach is a great attribute and we are all delighted he has signed a new contract."

Fletcher added: "When you play at such a great club with a great team you always want to be a part of that.

"The spirit here is amazing and I am happy that I can play my part in achieving more success."

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