Brad’s got fair deal to think about

United star bat­tling chronic bowel con­di­tion

Midweek Sport - - TV GUIDE - By GRA­HAM CHASE

BRAD GUZAN is stalling on a new con­tract at As­ton Villa be­cause he wants to play more reg­u­lar foot­ball.

The USA goal­keeper is a free agent in the sum­mer and Villa have opened talks with his rep­re­sen­ta­tives over a new deal.

With Shay Given side­lined through in­jury, Guzan fi­nally made his first Premier League start af­ter three-and-a-half years for Villa in the week­end win at Bolton.

But Guzan, 27, fears his op­por­tu­ni­ties will still be lim­ited.

“It is a case of see­ing what hap­pens,” he said.

“Six months from now I’ll be out of con­tract. It has to be right for both par­ties, but Villa is a great club.

“I’m in the team now so it gives the man­ager a chance to look at me.” mances that have made him a vi­tal cog in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

The club have ad­mit­ted that Fletcher’s de­sire to do the busi­ness for club and coun­try has ac­tu­ally held him back in his re­cov­ery.

United have now de­cided to give Fletcher all the time he needs to re­cu­per­ate, even if it means wait­ing un­til next sea­son for him to get back in shape.

They also feel that get­ting rid of con­stant talk about his fit­ness will help the player get his health back on track.

A club state­ment said: “Whilst he was able to main­tain re­mis­sion of symp­toms for a con­sid­er­able pe­riod, this has proved more dif­fi­cult re­cently.

“Dar­ren’s con­tin­ued de­sire to play and his loy­alty to both his club and coun­try has prob­a­bly com­pro­mised the chances of op­ti­mis­ing his own health and fit­ness.

Stress

“He has there­fore ac­cepted med­i­cal ad­vice to take an ex­tended break from the de­mands of train­ing and play­ing in or­der to af­ford the best chance pos­si­ble of achiev­ing full re­mis­sion once again.

“We hope that the re­moval of the additional stress as­so­ci­ated with spec­u­la­tion re­gard­ing his health will also aid his re­cov­ery.”

Fletcher’s ab­sence will come as a ma­jor blow to Ferguson, who is count­ing the cost of mount­ing in­jury prob­lems.

Skip­per Ne­manja Vidic and An­der­son have both been ruled out for the sea­son with knee prob­lems.

Tom Clev­er­ley is also out with an an­kle in­jury, while Rafael, Fabio, Dim­i­tar Ber­ba­tov and Michael Owen are on the in­jured list.

Rio Fer­di­nand said: “We are go­ing to miss two big play­ers in Fletcher and Vidic. I hope they both come back fit­ter and stronger than ever.”

LAY-OFF: Fletcher will take a break

from foot­ball

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