28 Feb 2011 08:00:00
Darren Fletcher, Manchester United (Getty Images)
By Greg Stobart | Northern Correspondent
The all-action midfielder is regarded as a natural leader by Sir Alex Ferguson and will wear the armband when captain Nemanja Vidic is unavailable.
It means the Scot will leapfrog Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra in the pecking order at Old Trafford and become the official No.2 on the pitch.
Fletcher, 27, is in advanced talks over a new five-year deal worth £20 million as a reward for his consistently excellent performances in recent years.
And Ferguson has told aides he wants Fletcher as vice-captain to give long-term continuity to United’s leadership on the pitch.
Serbian defender Vidic took the captaincy away from Ferdinand earlier this season because of the England defender’s injury problems while Giggs is close to retirement and does not feature in every game.
Fletcher is considered a driving influence at Old Trafford both on the pitch and in the dressing room, is a first choice midfielder and speaks well to the media.
The Scotland captain’s representatives have been in talks for a number of months over a new deal, with his current contract due to expire at the end of next season. Evra and Giggs have signed contract extensions in recent weeks while talks are also ongoing over new deals for Dimitar Berbatov and Paul Scholes.
Fletcher made his United debut in 2003 and is now regarded as the club’s main central midfielder. He has made 32 appearances for United so far this season as they target glory in the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup.
Ferguson is keen to add reinforcements in the summer to support Fletcher and is lining up moves for Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric, Everton’s Jack Rodwell and Jordan Henderson of Sunderland.
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Darren Fletcher in line to become vice-captain of Manchester United next season