Darren Fletcher will be in charge of his sons now they have joined Manchester United – Reuters/Craig Brough
Darren Fletcher’s 16-year-old twin boys, Jack and Tyler, have agreed to join United, where their dad is the technical director, from rivals Manchester City.
United will pay City a fee of around £1.25 million. Harrison Palmer, who is also 16, is joining City in return. Fletcher could have been heavily involved in the negotiations but it turns out the former United midfielder took a back seat and let his sons make their own minds up.
He did first sit them down and go through the pros and cons and wanted both to know that life could be harder for them at United given that he is their dad and people could think the only reason they were there was because of him. Given that the boys started at City when Fletcher was still a United player, that, of course, is a nonsense.
Jack and Tyler are said to have wanted a fresh challenge and believe United will provide that. In February, the boys actually played against each other in an Under-16 tournament in Cyprus when Jack represented England and Tyler Scotland.
Glazer in no mood to discuss takeover saga
Avram Glazer was spotted bounding through the bowels of the MetLife Stadium and past the mixed zone as United and Arsenal players were being interviewed. When a reporter caught up with the United co-chairman and asked him what was happening with the takeover, Avram replied simply that he was “just here to enjoy the game”. And then when pressed on whether there was a split in the family over a sale, Glazer declined to answer as the journalist was moved on by security.
Jadon Sancho scored a superb goal after impressing as a false nine against Arsenal, the third successive pre-season match he has played in the role. But whether the PA at the MetLife Stadium was unaccustomed to seeing the England winger playing centrally or confused him for Alexis Sanchez, the former United and Arsenal striker, he could do with being reminded that it is Jadon Sancho, not Jadon Sanchez as he told the 82,262 crowd over the tannoy after the player’s goal.
Hollywood royalty drops by
There was little doubting who was the famous United fan on show at the MetLife Stadium. Hollywood actress Julia Roberts was at the game to watch her beloved United beat Arsenal. The star of Pretty Woman and Erin Brockovich has seldom missed an opportunity to see United on their tours to the US in recent years and was accompanied by her boys Phinnaeus and Henry, both of whom are United mad, and daughter Hazel.
Julia Roberts is a huge Manchester United fan and has visited Old Trafford on a number of occasions – Getty Images/Clive Brunskill
Diallo injury scare
Amad Diallo was seen leaving the MetLife Stadium on crutches after suffering a twisted ankle against Arsenal. The US tour presented an opportunity for the Ivory Coast winger to impress Erik ten Hag before the manager decides whether to keep him or loan him out for another season so both club and player are hoping the problem is not too serious,
The organisation at US sports events is invariably second to none but, despite the strict security at the game, one over zealous Arsenal supporter still managed to smuggle his way to Arsenal’s dressing room before eventually being spotted by a security guard and taken away.
Heat gets to one United staffer
One United staffer was suffering in the heat at the MetLife Stadium. Poor John Allen, a press officer with the club, had to sit through the game and a penalty shoot-out in a suit and it was so hot — 35C or more pitchside — that his feet did not take too kindly to the very smart if impractical Paul Smith shoes he was wearing. Suffice to say, it was no surprise to see a grimacing Allen hobbling through the mixed zone, where post-match interviews are conducted, after the game.
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