The rumor mill is currently turning double-time concerning Luis Nani's future at Manchester United. With the January transfer window opening in 10 weeks and the Portuguese winger looking increasingly unsettled, he could well be on his way out of Manchester.
What a difference a year makes.
Last November, the Manchester Evening News reported Sir Alex Ferguson stating Nani was not for sale. But 11 months later, the story reads a little differently.
There is no doubt Nani is talented, but he looks frustrated with his current situation and ready for a new challenge. He may not like playing third fiddle to Ashley Young or Antonio Valencia. He may also have a bout of the money-blues. Or perhaps he is just bored. But whatever the reason for his ill-form, he has two choices to make—fix up, or get out.
So if the 25-year old were to move on in January, where would he go? Read on to find six clubs who could all be fighting for his signature after Christmas.
And let me know below where you think Nani will move to, if anywhere at all?
Real Madrid always come up in conversation whenever a big-profile player transfer is mentioned, and this time will be no different.
Madrid have the money to splurge on talent, and Nani's estimated £25 million price tag would be chump change to the Galactico's.
Nani would no doubt relish the opportunity to link up with his countryman, Cristiano Ronaldo, at club level again. They played well together at Manchester United, and that bond has carried over into the national team, a point which Jose Mourinho may well have already spotted.
The only question is, will Madrid want the winger when they already have one sulky Portuguese in CR7?
Another Spanish side, this time Atletico Madrid.
The talk of Atletico being interested in Nani's teammate, Javier Hernandez, has escalated in recent days, with a potential £12 million bid for the striker being lined up. With Nani's price tag hovering around £25 million for a January move, a double swap deal is an option both Atletico and United could consider.
Columbian sensation Radamel Falcao has been linked with every big-name club in recent weeks, yet Manchester City and Chelsea seem to be the front-runners. However, the Spanish side are asking for £45 million for the striker, and with United looking to offload both Chicarito and Nani, the Manchester club could well bring themselves into the race to sign Falcao.
Nani and Hernandez for Falcao—a good deal. But do United really need another striker?
Paris Saint Germain are becoming heavyweights in Europe after splurging huge sums on star players in the summer. With superstars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva now in the squad, along with teenage prodigy Marco Verratti and Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, PSG have a very strong side.
The New York Times stated that owners Qatar Investment Authority are looking to become the French equivalent of Manchester City, and Nani is well within their price range. Nani's desire for high wages could well be matched in France, and it is the new challenge he has been looking for.
However, with PSG a club who can seemingly buy who they want—would Nani be top of their priority list?
Zenit St Petersburg attempted to capture the United man in the summer, but Nani's outlandish wage demands meant the deal fell through. However, with Nani out of favor at Manchester United, he could well bring himself to re-evaluate these demands and move to a club where he would get playing time.
Nani would have to fight it out with Vladimir Bystrov for the RW position, as the Russian has held that position for the past few seasons—and held it well. Nonetheless, Zenit could be a very good move for Nani, as they are mounting a serious assault on the Champions League this season.
However, with the Russian side having just shelled out £64 million on Hulk and Axel Witsel, they may be having a quiet January.
With Juventus reportedly interested in taking the Portuguese International off United's hands, Nani could see himself in Italy come January. Although currently valued around £20-£25 million, Juventus are not willing to pay more than half that for the 25-year old. Something which Ferguson may have to accept with Nani's contract running out and his value decreasing by the month.
However, a winger may not be a priority for Juventus, especially after missing out on all three strikers they targeted in the summer.
Even so, if Massimiliano Allegri hears whispers of other clubs vying for his signature in January—and if i Rossoneri really want their man—they may need to make a bid earlier than desired.
Nani would fit into AC Milan fairly well. With the winger supplying Giampaolo Pazzini and Robinho, their attack could be deadly. And the Portuguese's flair is something which Milan are somewhat lacking in the midfield at the moment.
They are in desperate need of a playmaker, and Nani could well be that man. But will they be willing to be forced into a decision so soon after finishing their Christmas dinner?