Report: Samaras switch could help cost Celtic signing Manchester United star

Darren Fletcher

West Brom are now favourites for Darren Fletcher, ahead of Celtic.

Could a former Celtic striker be about to play an unwitting part in costing his old club a transfer deal?

That is what is being suggested by The BBC, regarding Giorgios Samaras and Darren Fletcher.

The Star have reported that Celtic have made a loan offer to sign the Scottish international, claiming he has been told he can leave the Manchester United by manager Louis van Gaal.

Now the BBC claim that interest from West Brom is threatening to trump that of the SPL leaders, and they are hoping to make a late offer as a result of shifting players off their wage bill, including Samaras, who is poised to sign for Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal, report Midlands paper the Express and Star.

BBC 5 Live's Pat Murphy stated: "I'm hearing that the chances of Darren Fletcher joining West Brom on a free transfer are getting stronger. With West Brom shipping out Georgios Samaras, Brown Ideye, Silvestre Varela and Sebastina Blanco in the near future, some money spent on wages will be freed up. So if salary is the sticking point for Fletcher, there is now some wriggle room."

Fletcher trained at Manchester United today as normal, and is currently the Red Devils longest serving player, but is not an automatic first team starter and his current contract expires at the end of the season.

29-year-old Samaras was a surprise signing for West Brom in the summer, but did not make a single Premier League start, instead being picked for just five appearances off the bench without a goal.

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