Man Utd: Vlaar in and Anderson out in January

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Manchester United are considering paying Brazilian flop Anderson to leave the club this winter, according to reports.

The midfielder, whose transfer fee from Porto has risen to around £26m, has never cemented himself in the Old Trafford midfield but has fallen from grace so spectacularly that United can hardly give him away.

The 26-year-old spent six months on loan at Fiorentina earlier this year but failed to convince the Italians to sign him on a permanent basis.

There was little to no interest from other clubs during the summer and while United will have a final push at a sale or loan deal in January they could resort to paying up the remainder of his contract – to the tune of £1.4m – in order to usher him out the door.

Anderson has made just two competitive appearances under Louis van Gaal – the 4-0 Capital One Cup defeat at MK Dons and a 20-minute cameo in the goalless draw with Burnley – and it is understood the Dutchman has no plans to use him again this season.

One man the manager does plan on introducing to the United first team, however, is Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar.

The Holland international is also attracting admiring glances from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger but it is thought that the Dutch connection puts Van Gaal in pole position to land the 29-year-old.

Vlaar is out of contract and available on a free in the summer, but such is the defensive despair at Old Trafford that a cut-price deal is expected to be negotiated when the transfer window re-opens on New Year’s Day.

United’s interest in Vlaar has been stepped up since the news that Marcos Rojo will be sidelined for a number of weeks with a dislocated shoulder.

With Chris Smalling, Johnny Evans and Phil Jones also requiring treatment this season Van Gaal wants to move quickly before United’s 4/5 chances of a top four position fall completely down the drain.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.