By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Ashley Fletcher has extended his loan deal with Barnsley until the end of the season, it was announced on Thursday afternoon.

The Manchester United striker initially joined the League One club on a month-long loan at the start of January.

The two clubs revealed on Thursday that an agreement has now been reached to keep Fletcher at the Tykes for the rest of the campaign.

Fletcher has not made a first-team appearance for United but was a regular for their Under-21s team in the first half of the season.

United are keen for the 20-year-old, an England Under-20 international and product of the club’s academy, to gain first-team experience.

Fletcher has scored once in his four appearances for Lee Johnson’s side and started his first game on Tuesday night in their 1-0 win at Bradford.

“I’m really pleased and very grateful to Manchester United for allowing us to keep Ashley to the end of the season,” said manager Johnson. “He has been a real asset to the group since joining and has improved with each game. He’ll only get better and stronger as we go along, so we’re all extremely excited to have him on board as we head towards the business end of the season.”
Fletcher added: “I’m delighted to be staying here as I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far. The dressing room is a great place to be and I’m excited looking ahead at the games coming up.
“I feel I will only get better as I get more experience under my belt and I want to help the team as far up the league as possible, so who knows where we can go.”