David Moyes is expected to hand Juan Mata his Manchester United debut in this evening’s match against Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s Cardiff City.
Mata completed his move from Chelsea at the weekend, and is in line to play as United look to bounce back from their Capital One Cup disappointment last Wednesday.
Contrary to yesterday’s reports, the Spain international has been handed the number eight shirt vacated by Anderson, who moved to Fiorentina on loan for the rest of the season last week.
The former Chelsea man was expected to don the famous number seven jersey, but has opted for eight leading to speculation that Cristiano Ronaldo could be set for a return to Old Trafford, according to the Mail Online.
Forwards Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney both trained on Monday and could make their returns, though captain Nemanja Vidic is still suspended.
United could move to within three points of the top four if they win and other results go their way.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United have accepted an offer for midfielder Yohan Cabaye from Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint Germain, Sky Sports understands.
The France international has previously been linked with a move to both Manchester United and Arsenal.