Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal begins his January clear out as Darren Fletcher, Anders Lindegaard and Tom Cleverley head towards the Old Trafford exit doorsGetty Images

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is reportedly set to begin his January clear-out with various players moving closer to the Old Trafford exit doors.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Darren Fletcher, Anders Lindegaard and Tom Cleverley are first in line for the manager's axe during the ongoing January transfer window.

Fletcher, who has been at United his entire career, is coming to the end of his contract with the club and, with no extension on offer, he will be allowed to leave.

West Bromwich Albion are believed to be interested in signing the Scottish midfielder on loan until the end of the season, as manager Tony Pulis looks to strengthen his midfield to help the Baggies put some distance between themselves and the Premier League relegation battle.

Fletcher, who made a return to competitive football only in 2013 following a long battle with a career-threatening illness, has rarely featured for the Red Devils this season and will be looking to play on a more regular basis.

West Brom are yet to make a formal bid, but the report claims that Pulis is a big admirer of the player since he also tried to sign the United midfielder when he was manager at Crystal Palace.

The report claims that Danish keeper Lindegaard is also close to completing a permanent switch away from Old Trafford after failing to break into the first-team due to the presence of David de Gea. He has further fallen down the pecking order after United confirmed the signing of former Barcelona stopper Victor Valdes on an 18-month deal.

But it is believed that, despite interest from various European clubs, the keeper is not ready to rush a move and is even willing to wait until the summer to leave United.

On the other hand, Cleverly, who has spent the first-half of the season on loan at Aston Villa, can make his deal permanent during the ongoing transfer window as Van Gaal's team have an agreement in place with the Villa Park outfit.

Paul Lambert can trigger the option in his loan deal during the January window and make him a permanent signing for a fee of around £8m. However, it is believed that the midfielder is also keen to wait until the summer to assess his options, as the future of the former Norwich boss hangs in the balance following a run of poor results that sees them in 13th place, just three points above the relegation zone.