Manchester United have released a player they signed in particularly acrimonious circumstances in 2009.
Manchester United confirmed the release earlier today of several players - with one surprise name on the list being Michele Fornasier.
The centre-back had been regular fixture for the club's title winning under-21 side, making 22 appearances this season and striking up a reliable defensive partnership with Tom Thorpe, who is heading to the Under-20 World Cup with England.
Fornasier is simply now considering his future, and will no doubt have offers to return to his native Italy where he left a very disgruntled club in his wake.
When United lured him away in 2009, his club side Fiorentina were absolutely livid.
They had hoped to tie him down to a permanent contract, only for soon after his 16th birthday a deal with Manchester United to be announced.
Fiorentina did not receive a fee for as he was not a registered player due to his age, and launched a bitter complaint to football's governing body FIFA alleging an illegal approach and wrongdoing by United.
United denied acting improperly, and after Fiorentina failed to supply paperwork and specific reasoning for their complaint, FIFA dismissed it just three weeks later.
Fornasier's career at United was a slow-burner, but this season he had really began to show some promise, and just three months ago he celebrated a very memorable moment.
He scored his only goal of the season in dream circumstances, netting a last minute winner over rivals Liverpool in a bitterly contested away fixture which had seen their opponents reduced to 10-men.
Now released he will reflect on that being as good as he got at United, but it is not to say he will not go on and enjoy a successful career elsewhere as many former Red Devils have done.
While the signing and all the initial hassle which came with it didn't pay off for United, as he arrived with no transfer fee it was a low-risk punt on a talented youngster.
The standard at United is particularly high and with the club touted to bring in Ezequiel Garay, his path to the first team would have become even more improbable.
In return for his gamble to switch countries at a young age, he has received an excellent football grounding at one of the world's biggest clubs, an opportunity he will describe as a privilege.
What happens next in his career is now up to him.
image: © ell-r-brown