Sir Alex Ferguson has rubbished reports of a rift with Brazilian midfielder Anderson and moved to deny that players are being left out because of problems in the dressing room.
Anderson subsequently missed the opening Premier League game against Birmingham and although he was involved at Burnley four days later, it was in an unaccustomed wide berth and he was promptly left out of last weekend's win at Wigan.
The Brazilian said earlier this week that he was unhappy at being overlooked for the Chelsea game, although he also stated his desire to remain with United and prove worthy of a place in Ferguson's long-term plans for the club.
However, the United boss has rejected talk of a row. "There is no issue at all," said Ferguson. What you'll find is they are not playing. When that happens people make an issue of it. But stuff about a dust-up with Anderson is absolute rubbish."
It seems Ferguson feels the same way about Michael Carrick, who has also been strangely overlooked for the same matches as Anderson. Again, there have been heavy rumours of problems behind the scenes but Ferguson merely puts the England star's absence down to squad rotation.
"We had Fletcher and Scholes back for Wigan so it was just a matter of freshening it up," he said. "We are also trying to push Darron Gibson on as much as we can because the boy has improved at a fantastic rate of knots. There is no reason other than that."