The Sweeper: Anderson offered Manchester United escape route

The Brazilian may move back to Porto on a six-month loan as he looks to force his way into his country's World Cup plans, while Joe Hart's form could impact his sponsorship deals

Manchester United midfielder Anderson could be offered a January escape route by his former club Porto.

The 25-year-old is surplus to requirements at Old Trafford and the club will demand a £7 million fee.

Porto are still big admirers of the Brazilian, who they sold to the Red Devils back in 2007 for £18m.

It is understood Anderson's name has recently been circulated to a few clubs, and Porto would be keen on a six-month loan to initially assess his form.

The player is desperate to try to force his way into the reckoning for Brazil's World Cup squad and wants more game time.

Another tempting option could be a return to his homeland, with both Santos and Corinthians also made aware of his situation.

- Paul Clennam


Joe Hart could have been forgiven for thinking his nightmare week couldn’t get any worse after he was dropped from the Manchester City team that thrashed Norwich 7-0 on Saturday.

But Hart’s demise could well hit him in the pocket. The Sweeper has learned that the 26-year-old could miss out on a lucrative World Cup sponsorship bonus if he loses his place as England's No.1 goalkeeper.
The under-fire City shot stopper, who watched understudy Costel Pantilimon keep a clean sheet on his Premier League debut, has a lucrative six-figure tie-up with Umbro, which was recently absorbed by American giants Nike.
The deal is also understood to include a series of recognition payments if he leads England out at major tournaments.

Hart has won the Premier League's Golden Gloves award for the last three seasons which also saw his glove suppliers swell his coffers.

- Paul Clennam


Sir Alex Ferguson seems to be enjoying life after stepping down as Manchester United manager.

The Scot, whose recently released autobiography is the fastest-selling non-fiction book in UK history, spoke about his life to packed out venues in Manchester, Glasgow and London last week.

The events, chaired by pundits and TV personalities, sold out in record time and went down a storm with the thousands of United fans in attendance.

Ferguson was not asked any controversial questions - Wayne Rooney, Roy Keane and racehorses were all off the agenda - but reeled off a number of anecdotes which had the audience clapping and cheering every couple of minutes - somewhat annoyingly in some cases!

Although he said he could not name his best XI because there were too many great players, he revealed that the only certainty would be Denis Irwin.

He also explained how Eric Cantona gave a £20,000 pot of promotional money he had won to youngsters Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt - because they "had the balls" to be in the competition whereas the Neville brothers and David Beckham had insisted on receiving their £1000 share in advance.

Ferguson goes on to Aberdeen and Dublin next week, as well as helping to make the draw for the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Tuesday - clearly he would be too busy for any return to management.

- Sam Lee