SCOTLAND midfielder Darren Fletcher has revealed the hunger that drives him on a daily basis at Manchester United.
Fletcher, 26, with 10 years and 255 senior appearances under his belt at the club, dreads the day when his time at Old Trafford is over.
He would love nothing better, it seems, than to emulate veteran trio Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville in prolonging his career.
“You look at it as a step down if you leave,” said Fletcher.
“If you are lucky enough to stay, you will have played at the top for your whole career and it does not get much bigger than Manchester United.
“Players who left say, ‘think twice before you leave, because there is nowhere like Manchester United’.
“Everything about the club makes it the place you want to be. No-one really thinks about leaving when you are here.”
Fletcher has particular admiration for Scholes, the veteran indicating he may be prepared to play on beyond next season.
The pair are part of the 22-man United squad currently in Chicago at a training camp ahead of their five-match summer tour.
Asked who is the greatest player he has played alongside, Fletcher responded on MLSsoccer.com: “Paul Scholes.
“To have played at the top for 10-15 years, that’s the benchmark for me, trying to reach his level. For what he’s achieved, he has never really got the credit he deserved.
“Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are almost like urban legends. They are fantastic role models for younger players like me to have.”
United manager Alex Ferguson has taken small steps in the transfer market with the arrival of defender Chris Smalling from Fulham and striker Javier Hernandez from Chivas Guadalajara.
Hernandez is joining the tour party later after playing for Mexico in the World Cup in South Africa, where he scored twice.
Fletcher said: “He looked very exciting in the World Cup. He scored two fantastic goals. He looked very sharp, quick, a real eye for a goal.
“He looks like a natural-born goalscorer, which every team needs. I am sure he will be a great signing.”
United open in Toronto against Celtic on Friday before facing Philadelphia Union, Kansas City Wizards, an MLS Select and finally Hernandez’s former club.
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