Manchester United Transfer Rumors: Selling Nani Should Be a Priority This Summer

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 01: Nani of Manchester United in action during the FA Cup with Budweiser Sixth Round Replay match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on April 1, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

If Paris Saint-Germain want Wayne Rooney, Manchester United should put up a fight. If Paris Saint-Germain want Nani, Manchester United should buy the winger's plane ticket for him.

Neil Custis of The Sun reported that PSG is targeting both Rooney and Nani for transfers this summer. While The Sun is not the most reliable of sources when it comes to transfer rumors, the situations regarding both players give you enough belief they could be out the door this summer.

Rumors surrounding Rooney's departure have never fully disappeared ever since his potential move to Manchester City. With United's possible interest in Radamel Falcao (h/t Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail), you're getting the idea the club could be planning for a future without Rooney. The Red Devils would be smart to hold on to him, but the right fee might prove too tempting.

And then there's Nani.

As Custis points out, the winger's contract runs out at the end of next season. If the club is going to sell him, this summer is the time to do it.

If Nani doesn't want to sign a new contract, then there's no need, especially in financial terms, to keep him around. His value will never be any higher than it is this summer, unless he signs a long-term deal. With the rumors over the last few months, the likelihood of that happening isn't good.

By not selling him, United risk having him sign a pre-contract with a new club next season or simply leaving during the summer 2014 window. Either way, the Red Devils would get nothing back for him.

Due to both injury and ineffectiveness, Nani has only appeared in 10 Premier League and four Champions League matches this season. The lasting image of his 2012/13 campaign will almost certainly be the red card he received in the second leg of the round-of-16 matchup with Real Madrid. Warranted or not, he was sent off, and Madrid subsequently scored two goals to send United out.

It's easy to see why Sir Alex Ferguson might want Nani around. There are matches where he's absolutely unplayable and looks like one of the best wingers in the world. Unfortunately, there's also the side of Nani that is absent for matches at a time. He hurts the team more than he helps it because he turns the ball over and takes poor shots.

Lately, the bad has outweighed the good.

Manchester United have been very patient with Nani in trying to see if he would become the world-class player his potential would sometimes make you think he could be. At 26 years old, Nani still has enough to be a productive player, but you can't expect him to grow by leaps and bounds, especially at Old Trafford.

With his talent level, Nani should be able to entice some club to spend £10-15 million on him. Should that happen, United need to jump at the opportunity.