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Former Manchester United man to be 'exchanged' for Freddy Adu

One of Manchester United's biggest 'flops' could cross his career path with a player who had the world at his feet and even had a trial with the club.

Kleberson is a player regarded in English football as one of the biggest disappointments to grace the Premier League.

The Brazilian signed for Manchester United in 2003, hailed as a man who played a huge part in Brazil winning the World Cup a year earlier.

His career never panned out as he would have liked at Old Trafford, making just 20 Premier League appearances in two years, and he left for Besiktas in Turkey at the first possible opportunity.

His fortunes did improve, impressing in Turkey before heading back to Brazil, winning a recall to the international set up and being included in the World Cup 2010 squad.

He currently plays for Brazilian side Bahia, but could just be heading out of the club.

For an unlikely exchange has been proposed with MLS side Philadelphia Union for Freddy Adu.

The name should be familiar. If Kleberson has a reputation as a 'flop', then a new term needs to be invented for poor Adu, who was leveled with expectation which ultimately destroyed what could have been a promising career.

At the age of just 14 he was thrown into the spotlight, signed up to a deal with Nike, hailed as the 'Next Pele', and American 'soccer's first real superstar.

Back in 2006 he even had a trial with Manchester United, who were keen to see what the fuss was about, but Sir Alex Ferguson was clearly not tempted to bring him aboard.

Adu's career turned into a nomadic one, moving to Benfica a year later, before being loaned to teams in France, Greece, Turkey and Portugal without any success. He did have a renaissance in 2011 when he earned an international call-up and helped USA win the Gold Cup, but his time in Philapdelphia has been largely miserable.

He has been accused of underperforming and not pulling his weight, and under the spotlight in his homeland, he appears a haunted figure.

Above everything, Adu is still only 23, which seems quite remarkable given how long he has been around, and could be destined for a new move.

It is being reported in Brazil that he is to head to Bahia, with Kleberson heading in the opposite direction to begin a new career at 33 in Major League Soccer.

There is an alternative motive for Bahia however. As Brazilian newspaper Lancenet report, Adu comes with a high profile, and the club are hoping to harness that and bring themselves commercial opportunities in America. This will be something the player is well used to by now, so he may as well take the good which comes with it.

Kleberson may be regarded as a disappointment in this country, but Adu will simply wish he had half the success the Brazilian has had. Success in Brazil looks tough for him, Bahia have not won the league title since 1988. 

The move is still to go through, and could come in the form of a loan. For fans of the game around the globe, it may be one to keep an eye on.

What do you make of Freddy Adu, the hype, and his subsequent failure to live up to it?

image: © wjarrettc

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