The 33-year-old defender’s current deal was set to expire at the end of the season, but both parties have agreed to a deal which will see his contract end immediately rather than in six months time, paving the way for a potential move back to Pittodrie.
Derby County manager Nigel Clough said: “Russell is a fantastic professional who moves on with our very best wishes. He has been unlucky with a few injuries and the form of other players during his time with us, but throughout the last two years his attitude has been first class and he has been nothing but a positive influence in the dressing room.”
The defender joined Derby in January 2010 following his contract with Premier League side Sunderland being cancelled by mutual consent also, and after some impressive performances in the latter half of the 2009/10 season he signed a two-year extension.
However injury has plagued his last two seasons at the club, making only 11 appearances last season and a mere seven this term, with his last appearance in a game against Cardiff City at the start of November where he sustained a hamstring injury in the first half.
Russell left Aberdeen in 2007 for £1 million, making the move to Sunderland, but injuries curtailed any hope of him carving out a career at the Stadium of Light and he was restricted to just two appearances for the Black Cats. He did go out on loan to Plymouth Argyle and Burnley to pick up much-needed match fitness, but made the move to Derby in 2010.
With 11 Scotland caps and over 300 club appearances, Anderson has been linked with a return to his former employers in the Granite City where he spent ten years of his career and wore the captain’s armband also and could that experienced head on the pitch missing after Paul Hartley left last season, if he can stay injury-free.
Anderson was linked with a move back to Pittodrie at the end of last season, when Craig Brown failed in a bid to sign the defender who decided to stay with Derby to help push for promotion.
At the time Brown said: “I spoke to Russell last week but was unable to persuade him to return. He would have been the stellar signing I am trying to get for our fans as he was an outstanding player here.”
The 33-year-old will use the facilities at Aberdeen to help his recovery from a hamstring injury, but while there is a possible link to his return to the club, manager Craig Brown is looking realistically at the possibility stressing the financial aspect of such a signing.
“It would be a wonderful acquisition, if he’s fit,” said Brown. “We’d love to have him back on the staff here, but it would require someone buying one of our players or players being attracted elsewhere. Our player budget has reached its limit and he knows that. And that reduces the immediate chance of him signing.”
Brown added: “He’s coming back for rehabilitation. I spoke to him a couple of days ago and he requested the use of our physiotherapy facility. I had already spoken to him in the summer about the prospect of him coming here. He was on a good contract at Derby and wanted to stay and fight for his place. He got his place in the team and was playing. But now he has a long-term injury. It’s a two-month job at least.”
What are the thoughts of Aberdeen fans on a potential return to Pittodrie for their former skipper?