Manchester United ponder paying off Anderson's £1.4m contract
Manchester United will consider cancelling the remaining six months on Anderson's £60,000-a-week contract if they fail to find a new club for the Brazilian midfielder in January.
Anderson, whose transfer from Porto in May 2007 ultimately cost United £26m, has been told he can leave Old Trafford after failing to impress manager Louis van Gaal during pre-season.
However, despite making the 26-year-old available for transfer during the summer, United received no offers for a player who was once regarded as one of the game's brightest talents after he emerged as a teenage prodigy at Porto.
With Anderson's stock having now fallen so low within the game, though, it is understood that United are ready to explore the possibility of paying up the remainder of his contract at a cost of up to £1.4m, simply to remove him from the playing squad and enhance his prospects of finding a new club.
Efforts to offload Anderson last season failed, with Italian club Fiorentina rejecting the chance to sign him permanently following a six-month loan spell.
While United would prefer to negotiate a sale or loan, under which they would pay a portion of Anderson's wages, the option of cancelling the five-year contract signed in October 2010 has not been ruled out.
United cancelled the final two years of goalkeeper Fabien Barthez's contract in June 2004 at the cost of £5m.
With the pressure on United's squad eased by their elimination from the League Cup and failure to qualify for European football this season, a similar move is being considered for Anderson because of his remote prospects of featuring in Van Gaal's squad before the end of the season.
Anderson has made two first-team appearances under Van Gaal, playing in the 4-0 League Cup defeat at MK Dons in August and then making a 20-minute substitute appearance in the 0-0 Premier League draw at Burnley four days later.
Since making an appearance in the reserve team alongside Luke Shaw and Adnan Januzaj in September, he has been overlooked for every subsequent first-team squad. (© Daily Telegraph, London)
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.