Soccer

Thursday 10 July 2014

Ferguson ready to dispose of Anderson

Mark Ogden

Published 17/04/2013|04:00

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Alex Ferguson Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Alex Ferguson

Manchester United midfielder Anderson could return to Porto this summer, with the Portuguese club attempting to fund a summer move for the Brazilian.

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The 25-year-old, who cost United £25.7m when he left Porto for Old Trafford in May 2007, has failed to realise his potential since arriving in England as a teenager and it is understood that Alex Ferguson is prepared to sell him at the end of the season.

And with Ferguson a long-term admirer of Porto's attacking midfielder James Rodriguez, the opportunity to offload Anderson to his former club could open the door for United to pursue their interest in the Colombian.

Reports in Portugal last summer claimed that United had a £25m offer for Rodriguez rejected by Porto and, while this remains unconfirmed, Ferguson's ultimately unsuccessful pursuit of Lucas Moura, who turned down a transfer to Old Trafford from Sao Paulo in favour a move to Paris St-Germain, highlighted the United manager's determination to add to his attacking options.

Departure

While the £12m purchase of Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace in January will enhance United's attacking threat from next summer, the likely departure of Nani ensures Rodriguez remains under consideration, but Porto are expected to press ahead with a move for Anderson, regardless of United's intentions regarding Rodriguez.

Despite Anderson's failure to impress at United, where he has made just 167 appearances in six seasons, his reputation in Portugal is strong because of his emergence at Porto after a £5m move from Gremio as a 17-year-old.

And with two years remaining on his United contract, the Premier League leaders will regard this summer as the optimum time to cash in on Anderson, should Porto register a suitable offer.

Having missed United's last three fixtures, Anderson is unlikely to figure against West Ham at Upton Park tonight as Ferguson's players aim to move closer to claiming the seven points required to confirm the title.

Although United's four-month unbeaten run in the league was ended by Manchester City last week, the club remain on course to amass a Premier League record points haul if they win all six of their remaining fixtures.

Such a run would mean United finish the campaign on 98 points and erase Chelsea's 2004-05 champions from the record books with their total of 95 points.

Robin van Persie admitted that milestone was a target. "We don't just want to try and win the league by getting the points we need, we want to get maximum points," Van Persie said. "It's important that you keep a run of wins going and that's what we want to do."

Rio Ferdinand insists that the team have overcome last week's defeat to City. And the former West Ham defender believes that United must now ensure that they quickly finish off the title race by gaining the points required to regain the title.

"We've got to make sure we finish the season correctly and get this title back," Ferdinand said. "We're not far off it but it's not over until it's over.

"We have to make sure we remain focused and apply ourselves in the right way to achieve it. We've churned out results through hard work and preparing ourselves in the right way.

"We have to continue that. It's some going, that record, and we can't let one or two recent bad results undo all the hard work. When I look around the changing-room I expect us to be winning games nine times out of 10.

"I believe in the squad, we can win games in various different ways, winning ugly, playing fluent football, keeping a clean sheet. It would be great to win a sixth (Premier League) medal, but until we do it, I don't want to talk much about it.

"Last season a lot of people got ahead of themselves and we don't want to make the same mistake again." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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