After months of uncertainty, Nani might finally be leaving Old Trafford.
Through nearly a full third of the Premier League season, the Red Devils are seven points off Arsenal's leading pace and (perhaps more shockingly) languishing in sixth place in the table.
Per Gabriele Marcotti of ESPNFC.com, United full-back Patrice Evra made his feelings known about United's present form in remarkably blunt fashion: "We didn't show enough of Manchester United the way we played. We didn't deserve more than a draw."
As though United need any more distractions, Nani's status again seems to be in flux.
Watch this space for fresh updates all this week as we track the latest rumours surrounding the Portuguese winger with the January transfer window getting ever nearer.
If Juventus cannot have Nani outright, maybe they can borrow him?
Friday, November 29
Not to be deterred by Manchester United's reticence to deal Nani outright, Juventus are now looking to at least take Nani for a test drive.
Per Carlo Garganese and Romeo Agresti of Goal.com:
The Italian champions are preparing a loan offer for the 27-year-old but Goal understands that the Red Devils are unwilling to let the Portugal international leave on a temporary basis. The Turin outfit are willing to match the player's United salary of £95,000 (€114,000) a week until the end of the season and secure an option to make the transfer permanent in June.
You have to hand it to Juventus. If they cannot talk United into selling them the player they want, maybe they can at least borrow him for a while.
Besides, if Juventus can get Nani out of Old Trafford, maybe United will miss him less than United fear they will.
And then if Nani beds in at Juventus, a deal may be much easier to make down the line than it is now.
United may try to leverage Nani's Portuguese connection to land a player they need more.
Wednesday, November 27
Not much in the way of unique reports on clubs after Nani to report, but the United winger is still in the news.
Brian Beard of sportsdirectnews.com reports that United, in desperate need of midfield help (as ever, let's be honest), have their eyes on Sporting Lisbon youngster William Carvalho:
At just 21 the strong, robust midfielder is exactly what United are lacking at present. Nominally a defensive midfielder Carvalho has a good short and long passing game and unlike most of the current United midfield contingent he is good in the air.
Wasn't Marouane Fellaini supposed to have a solid passing game and be good in the air? Never mind.
How do United intend to convince Carvalho to come to Old Trafford? Perhaps with some assistance from Nani, who "may see his importance grow as United will look to use him for his Portuguese connection" to entice Carvalho.
Left unanswered is whether Nani's possible assistance in courting Carvalho will ingratiate him at United or leave him in flux.
Might Nani end up in Serie A?
Monday, November 25
Ben Jefferson's recent report in the Express links Nani to a possible move to Serie A.
"Nani has been seldom used this season and it is thought that David Moyes is prepared to let the former Sporting Lisbon player leave in January to make way for new additions," Jefferson observed.
So it is no surprise that the Serie A powerhouses would be back in on Nani now:
[R]eports in Italy suggest that as well as Juventus reigniting their interest Inter Milan will also enter the race to sign Nani.
It is thought that a bid of around £13m would be sufficient for United to part with the Portuguese international.
Nani stands to benefit if these rivals get into a bidding war.
As Jefferson noted: "New Inter owner Erick Thohir is looking to make an impact in Milan and...[d]enying a rival like Juventus Nani's services in the process would merely be an added bonus."
Maybe teams are confident at Old Trafford because Nani keeps sitting down on the job.
Nani did not do Manchester United—or his manager David Moyes—any favors with some stray observations he recently offered.
"It looks like teams are more confident when they come here to play against us," said Nani according to Sky Sports.
Having dug a tablespoon-sized hole for himself, Nani tried to patch it but instead ended up creating a shovel-sized hole with his elaboration on the elan United's opponents are exhibiting at Old Trafford:
But I'm sure we will change that because, at the moment, we are playing without all our confidence.
I think once results start coming we will show who the real Manchester United are and will do much better.
Right. So the problem is not a fluky phenomenon where a rogue result or two embolden future opponents to ride the same luck. No, sir. According to Nani, United lack confidence.
Even if he is right, Nani might have quit while he was ahead and said nothing.
United fans might soon be seeing Nani walk away for good.
As recently as September of this year, the idea that Nani would leave Manchester United was a non-starter.
Per a Jamie Sanderson report in Metro, "Luis Nani has put an end to speculation over his future by signing a new long-term contract at Manchester United."
Sanderson even went so far as to confirm the actual physical act: "And speaking after putting pen to paper, Nani admitted he couldn’t be happier to be staying at Old Trafford. ‘Playing at United has been a fantastic experience for me,’ he said."
So imagine my surprise when the Nani contract extension turned out to be as real as the dream season in Dallas.
Ben Jefferson recently shed the necessary light in the Express:
Juventus tried to sign the Portuguese winger over the summer but withdrew their interest after being told that the 27-year-old was about to sign a new contract at Old Trafford.
However, it looks increasingly as though United's intent in signing Nani to a new deal was to prevent the player leaving for nothing at the end of the season.
Dishonesty in professional football? Shocking!