Manchester United‘s mercurial winger Nani is pondering a move to Serie A, according to a report in the Guardian, after instructing his agent, Jorge Mendes, to see whether a move to an Italian club is a possibility at this stage of his career.
Regardless of the situation involving Nani, Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, is likely to press ahead with his interest in Aston Villa‘s fleet-footed attacker Ashley Young this summer.
Portugese winger Nani is settled at Old Trafford, and has become one of the clubs most important players this season, after a number of match-winning performances, which have seen him garner 10 goals and a further 15 assists. His development into a wide-man of pace and penetration is a far cry from the lightweight talent who only showed glimpses of brilliance during his early time at the club and who lived in the shadows of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Furthermore, Ferguson would be loathe to sell a player who has been vital to United maintaining their place at the top of the Premier League, whilst others around him have struggled for form.
However, Nani has won the European Cup, the Club World Championship, two Premier League titles and two Carling Cups during his four-year spell with United since his £18m move from Sporting Lisbon, and it’s his belief that he has achieved all he can at Old Trafford.
The player is believed to have spoken to his family about whether a move to Italy would benefit them and whether a new challenge is something that would bring out the best in himself, but he won’t agitate to break a contract at United that still has three years left to run.
And Ferguson will be confident of talking the player into staying at United, as he has previously done when both Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra intimated they were interested in moves to Spain. Also, with Serie A currently not the high-quality league it was during the 1990’s, and only the two Milan clubs as realistic destinations for the Portugese, the United boss will fancy his chances of persuading Nani that Old Trafford remains the best place for him to showcase his talents.
Nevertheless the situation regarding Nani will have no bearing on Ferguson’s pursuit of England international Young.
The player will have only 12 months left on his contract at Villa Park come the summer transfer window, and whilst the likes of Liverpool and Bayern Munich are interested, the player is known to favour a move to United.
Young has developed into a key player at Villa, initially flourishing under Martin O’Neill as a winger, and has added extra facets to his game since the arrivial of Gerard Houllier, who has used Young as a trequarista and made the former Watford player his sides captain.
Yet after three consistent seasons where Villa finished in 6th each year under O’Neill, the Houllier era has been tumultuous thus far. On-field results have seen Villa floundering in 13th place rather than challenging for the European places, whilst team spirit would appear at an all-time low, with several senior places voicing their displeasure.
Ferguson will use these factors, aswell as Young’s contract situation, to his advantage ,to sign a player whose talent and versatility would not only bolster the United squad, but would be a key addition to the first team. With Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes both a year older, Luis Valencia returning from long-term injury, and Bebe and Gabriel Obertan having failed to impress, Young would have a big part to play at Old Trafford.