Manchester United Transfer News: Will Nani Stay at Old Trafford?

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIOctober 25, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Nani of Manchester United evades the challenge from Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on September 29, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester United winger Nani is once again in the transfer news headlines with the 25-year-old admitting that he doesn't know if he has a future at Old Trafford.

The maligned United star has started just five matches so far this season and looks unlikely to receive significant playing time at all this year once Ashley Young returns from injury—making him a viable candidate to be sold over the January transfer window.

Nani recently commented on his future via The Sun, "Only God knows what awaits me. I am in perfect condition—I am physically good and feeling confident. I am the same Nani as always."

Having moved from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United six years ago for £14 million, Nani quickly became an integral part in United's attack and a devastating force out on the left wing for several seasons in both the English and European competitions.

But the arrival of Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia has seen the Portuguese international drop to being the third-string winger behind the pair, which does not help his chances at starting opportunities when both players are healthy.

The 25-year-old did make a useful contribution on the weekend against Sporting Braga to lead United back from two goals down to victory, but with Young out injured and Valencia rested, you have to wonder whether he would have even been afforded the opportunity otherwise.

Sir Alex Ferguson's move towards a midfield diamond formation is one that is widely regarded as a good move for the Red Devils, but—should it be enforced more frequently this year—Nani is also likely to see fewer appearances for the Premier League giants.

Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie will play at the top of the diamond—pushing Shinji Kagawa out to the left flank—meaning that Young, Valencia and Nani are all fighting for the starting spot on the right flank, which Valencia is likely to hold, then Young, with the 25-year-old Nani bringing up the rear.

The Portuguese international is therefore likely to see plenty of action throughout the January transfer window, with Italian giants Juventus reportedly leading the chase for the winger's signature (according to The Daily Mirror).


Should Manchester United sell Nani over the January transfer window?

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