Manchester United wanted Douglas Costa to follow in footsteps of Anderson

The Shakhtar Donetsk forward was approached by United in 2009.

It looks as though Manchester United are about to say goodbye to Anderson - bringing to an end his topsy-turvy stay at Old Trafford.

They spent a fortune on bringing Anderson in from Porto seven years ago, but with good reason.

At the time he was considered one of the biggest talents in world football and United had beaten off plenty of other clubs to snap him up.

However, Anderson has never lived up to his potential.

Now the club are prepared to ditch him for free - with the likes of Gremio and Flamengo in his homeland said to be keen.

Anderson will mostly be remembered for his time on the treatment table, his waist size blossoming throughout the years and his silly dancing.

But he did have early success at the club. At times it did look like he would live up to his massive price-tag.

He was not the only Gremio player they once chased however. According to a coach at Brazilian side Gremio, where Anderson first came to prominence at, they were also after Douglas Costa - because, somewhat ironically, of the success Anderson had at the club.

Luiz Garbado Junior told ESPN:

"In 2009, Manchester United wanted to take him after the success of Anderson, but it never ended up coming.

"Many other clubs wanted to take him, because Gremio were involved in many tournaments around Europe. We played in Holland and that's when a lot of scouts started to monitor him."

Of course Douglas Costa is now a hit in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Who knows if he would have had a similar career to Anderson's in Manchester United. But after forging an excellent career in the Ukraine he is perhaps happy he never followed in his footsteps.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch