While all of the noise surrounding Manchester United continues to derive around the possibility of Wayne Rooney leaving the club, another well-known player could very well be on the outs.
And frankly, he should be. We're talking about Nani, of course, who is garnering serious interest from Anzhi Makhachkala.
Manchester United winger Nani is wanted by mega-rich Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.
Nani will not be part of the squad which leaves on Wednesday for the champions’ pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia.
The winger is injured and will miss the three-week tour, but could ultimately be on his way to Anzhi in a £12million deal.
Former United coach Rene Muelensteen has joined Guus Hiddink at Anzhi and could be instrumental in bringing Nani with him.
To be fair, the Russian club has dismissed the rumours. But you can never believe anyone during the transfer window, and this could be a case of the club trying to keep its intentions veiled to maintain leverage in negotiations.
Nani clearly fell out of favor last season and only started 15 games in all competitions (he made just 21 total appearances), scoring just three goals and adding five assists. It was his fewest appearances since coming to the club in 2007.
Nani's undoubtedly talented, but with plenty of attacking options, he really isn't needed at Old Trafford. While Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa are both better in central positions, each can slide out to the wing if called upon to do so and should see more first-team time this season.
Plus, youngster Wilfried Zaha is sure to get a long, hard look out wide by David Moyes.
Though £12 million may seem a low number for a player who is just 26 years of age and can be downright brilliant at times, United don't have much leverage to move him. After the season he just had and the fact that his possible move away from the club is hardly a secret, it will be hard for United to play the "we're thrilled to keep him if you don't increase your offer" game.
My guess? United want something in the range of £20 million, which they'll never get, and will end up settling for something in the £14 to £17 million range.
Given Nani's ability, £14 million isn't the worst investment. And given that Nani has fallen down the ranks at United, getting £14 million in his sale would be a solid bit of business for the Red Devils.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!