Date: 6th June 2007 at 3:40pm
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United face a tedious legal battle to secure a work permit for Brazilian starlet Anderson as the Home Office is almost certain to reject our first application.

Anderson’s move from Porto has been agreed in principle last week but he needs a work permit to be able to play in English domestic competition.

United certainly hope he’ll receive special dispensation but the first application is set to be rejected, simply because we have not stated our case yet.

The rule, as you may be aware, declares that any non-EU player must have participated in 75% of his country’s team games in the last two years in order to gain a work permit.

Anderson, who is yet to make his full international debut, does not fulfil this requirement. But special talents get the special dispensation we hope for.

The immigration department of the Home Office will surely reject the first application but United will lodge an appeal and present a group of experts who are going to argue that the guy will improve the quality of the league.

Park’s case has been cited but that was a little different, as the Korean winger had already played in a World Cup when he made his move to United. I think Arsenal also had to secure a work permit for Denilson last year – or does he have a second nationality and an EU-passport with it?

Liverpool’s Mark Gonzalez had to wait a lot for his own work permit and had to play for Real Sociedad for a while. Of course, we remember Dong Fangzhuo who had been farmed out to Antwerp to gain Belgian passport, thus allowing him to finally join United.

I expect Anderson to have no problems at all – after all, he’s already got Champions League experience, he’s been best player of a U17 World Cup and might even play for Brazil in the Copa America with Ronaldinho and Kaka both absent, due to exhaustion.