David Moyes may still be struggling to bring in the players that he is fully aware he requires to boost an ailing squad, but progress appears to have been made on trying to ship out some of the club’s under-performers. There was much surprise that Moyes didn’t look to stamp his authority on the club after replacing Sir Alex Ferguson this summer by moving on players and instead decided he required more time to properly evaluate his new squad.
However, he now looks to have made some judgments.
The first man out the door is set to be Anderson, with the midfielder on the verge of a move to Fiorentina. Respected Sky Sport Italy reporter Gianluca di Marzio has relayed that the Serie A side have reach an agreement with United to take the midfielder on loan for the rest of the season with the option to make the deal permanent for €6.5 million (£5.4m).
That would represent a huge loss on a player that United signed from Porto in the summer of 2007 for a fee of €30 million (currently £25m). Thought to be signed as a future successor to Paul Scholes, Anderson enjoyed a solid first season and was part of the team that won a Premier League and Champions League double, scoring one of the penalties in the shootout against Chelsea to claim the European Cup. However, a combination of injuries and an apparent lack of dedication off the pitch has meant him failing to ever command a regular role in the team in the five-and-a-half years since.
Another player who has failed to live up to his potential since arriving in 2007 could also be on the move this month, according to reports. Metro has claimed that Fulham are keen to take Nani on loan and are rivaling the Portugal international’s former club Sporting Lisbon. With the exception of the 2010-11 season, when he voted the club’s Player of the Year, the winger has largely flattered to deceive. While he has produced the odd moment of excellence, he has failed to become a reliable contributor in the same manner as the man with which he has always been compared -- Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, to some surprise, Nani was handed a five-year contract extension in September, which makes it unlikely that he will be allowed to leave on loan this month.
Two men whose loan exits seem far more probable are Fabio and Wilfried Zaha. Indeed, the pair have been strongly linked with moves to Cardiff City, who are now under the charge of former Manchester Unites striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian refused to be drawn on the rumors this week, but stopped clear of dismissing them.
"I can't say anything on them because they are players from Manchester United and I can't comment on players from other teams," he said, according to Sky Sports. "I am looking at strengthening my squad, but I can't say names.”
Zaha was Ferguson’s last signing at United before his retirement and it has been a curiosity to many why the former Crystal Palace man has made just three appearances this season, despite the poor form of United’s other wingers. The 21-year-old is reportedly desperate for a loan move this month in order to get regular first-team football to give himself a chance of forcing his way into England’s World Cup squad.
Meanwhile, Fabio’s career has stalled since starting the 2011 Champions League final. He endured a disappointing season on loan at Queens Park Rangers last term and has made just three appearances since returning to United this campaign. His last summed up how things have gone for him of late, and potentially put the writing on the wall for his future with the club, when he was sent off just four minutes after coming on as a substitute in an FA Cup tie with Swansea City that his side went onto lose.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.