Manchester United

Manchester United Transfer News: Nani Offered World Cup Lifeline by Sporting

Nani has struggled for regular playing time at Manchester United this season.
Nani has struggled for regular playing time at Manchester United this season.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Michael WadeAnalyst IIIJanuary 14, 2014

Out of favour at Manchester United this season, Nani has been offered the chance to move on loan to Sporting Lisbon.

A report from Francisco Acedo of Sky Sports claims that the Portuguese club's president, Bruno de Carvalho, would welcome the return of the Portugal international:

I am surprised because officially we have made no approach.

Nani is one of ours and he will always be well received here. If there is any chance of doing something then we would be happy.

The player moved to United in 2007 at the same time as midfielder Anderson. However, Anderson now looks likely to leave Old Trafford on loan this month, with Fiorentina linked according to a report by David Anderson of the Mirror, and Nani could be advised to follow.

Nani has been a regular among the subs at Manchester United this season.
Nani has been a regular among the subs at Manchester United this season.Michael Regan/Getty Images

Having made just eight Premier League appearances during this campaign, it is obvious that the winger does not figure as a major part of manager David Moyes' plans for the future.

In a World Cup year, when Nani, who has already earned 72 caps for Portugal, has the opportunity to represent his country on the biggest stage, he must play regular football in order to ensure he books his place on the plane to Brazil.

Alongside the mercurial talents of Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal have a fair chance of making the competition's knockout stages. This means Nani, at 27, can put himself back in the shop window and earn a second shot at the big time, having failed to grasp his chance during six full seasons at United.

Italian champions Juventus have previously been linked, as per Ben Burrows of the Mirror, and a short spell in a league he is familiar with could open the door to a big summer switch.

The opportunity to return to Sporting Lisbon, a club he not only knows well, but also where he could easily catch the attention of Portugal coach Paulo Bento, is one not to turn down.

Sporting, second in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and just two points behind leaders Benfica, also have a chance of domestic glory. The stage is set for Nani to exit the Theatre of Dreams.

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