On the eve of Manchester United’s hotly anticipated FA Cup 3rd Round replay against minnows Exeter, the Guardian’s Dave Taylor reports that Kleberson should be on the move, albiet at a considerable loss to United.
Kleberson, the first Brazilian to play for Manchester United, wants to leave England. He has started only 14 Premiership matches in 17 months and the club stand to lose in excess of £4m from one of the most expensive mistakes of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign.
Manchester United have already turned down a loan deal with Benfica, now managed by Giovanni Trapattoni, but Kleberson’s dismal statistics have put United in a weak position as they seek a return on the £5.93m they paid Atletico Paranaense in August 2003.
Ferguson confirmed there had been “a lot of inquiries” since the transfer window opened at the start of January but added there had been “nothing concrete” in terms of an offer. He has been informed there will be no transfer funds until several of his fringe players are moved on and, though he stopped short of admitting as much, he will have no objections about Kleberson leaving.
On the contrary, Ferguson has become increasingly irritated at the lack of consistency of a player who arrived with a World Cup winners’ medal in his suitcase.
The Brazilian has told his advisers to find new employers and Ferguson will have little alternative but to write him off, like Juan SebastiÃ¡n VerÃ³n and Diego Forlan, as another South American who has failed to settle. “It’s difficult to say what the situation is,” the United manager said. “He’s a terrific footballer, he’s Brazilian and he wants to play in the first team.”
Burnley are through to the 4th round of the FA Cup following an upset win earlier this evening at Turfmoor, beating Liverpool 1-0 in a match postponed from last Friday. Liverpool defender Dijimi Traor’s 51st minute own goal (above) was the difference, though a decidedly 2nd string Reds side never seriously threatened in a match carried live stateside by Fox Sports World (soon to be renamed the Fox Soccer Channel…though as long as they keep showing Sky’s overnight highlights show, there will still be a modicum of darts coverage)