Manchester United may have finally given up on midfielder Anderson, amid reports that the club are ready to let the player return to his former club Porto this summer.

The Brazilian has often struggled to live up to the expectation that accompanied his arrival at Old Trafford in 2007, with persistent injuries and the struggle to find consistency leaving him on the periphery of the United first team with increasing regularity.

A return to Porto may beckon this summer for the 25-year-old, as Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly continues looking into the possibility of signing James Rodriguez from the reigning Portuguese champions. The Daily Telegraph suggest that the Scot's interest in the Colombian attacking midfielder has not diminished, despite reports of a failed bid of £25 million for the 21-year-old last summer.

Porto's resolve may be tested once again in the coming months, as the future of Anderson in addition to winger Luis Nani at the club comes under increasing scrutiny.

Brazilian Anderson could be on his way out of Old Trafford. (Reuters) Reuters

Anderson arrived at United as a teenager with expectations high after an eye-catching season for Porto following his breakthrough at Brazilian club Gremio. Despite glimpses of his potential, the Brazilian has never convincingly managed to assert himself in Ferguson's first team plans.

The midfielder has only started in seven Premier League games for United this season, and has only managed to finish three in all competitions; low key affairs against CFR Cluj and Braga in the Champions League and a third round Capital One Cup clash against Newcastle United.

After just 167 appearances in six seasons for the Premier League, Ferguson may now be prepared to investigate other options as he seeks to strenghten his United midfield which has itself come under scrutiny this season.

Michael Carrick has himself enjoyed an imperious campaign, but the advancing years of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes - the latter who is yet to renew his current deal - may well force Ferguson to bring in a new midfielder, particularly with the future of Darren Fletcher in doubt.

Anderson has not been included in Sir Alex Ferguson's match day squad since a 1-0 win over Sunderland at the end of last month.