Manchester United have reached an impasse in their efforts to offload Brazilian midfielder Anderson after failing to generate a single enquiry for the player this month.
The 26-year-old, a £26m signing from Porto in May 2007, has failed to make a first-team appearance under Louis van Gaal since a brief substitute outing at Burnley last August.
Although the 2008 Champions League winner was named as a substitute for the FA Cup third round victory at Yeovil earlier this month, his brief return to the spotlight failed to prompt rival clubs to enquire about a player who has become an embarrassment to United as a result of his dramatic fall from grace.
Described as being ‘better than Wayne Rooney’ by Martin Ferguson, United’s European scout during the managerial reign of his brother, Sir Alex, following his impressive displays as a teenager for Porto, the Old Trafford club signed Anderson at the same time as Sporting Lisbon winger Nani at the end of the 2006-07 season.
Injuries, loss of form and battle to prove his fitness have since de-railed his Old Trafford career and Anderson has now been available for almost two years.
But aside from an unsuccessful loan spell at Fiorentina last season and fleeting interest from Brazilian outfit Flamengo last summer, United have been unable to entice clubs to take Anderson off their hands.
With three weeks of the transfer window gone, United have yet to receive an offer for Anderson.
If the player remains at Old Trafford at the end of this month, the club could consider cancelling his contract in order to boost his chances of finding a new team and draw a line under one of United’s most unsuccessful signings.
Michael Owen has delivered a withering assessment of Louis van Gaal’s first campaign at Manchester United by claiming his former club are ‘not functioning as a team’ and insisting Robin van Persie is no longer living up to his reputation.