Nani on brink despite Fergie denials

November 30, 2009 Tags: Reads 11 comments

Sir Alex Ferguson will not allow Portuguese misfit Nani to leave the club in the January transfer window, after denying that Manchester United is seeking to offload the £ 17 million former Sporting Lisbon winger. Nani, who has not played in for United in close to a month, is now Ferguson’s fifth choice winger after a series of erratic performances.

Nani’s form, together with the rise of Gabriel Obertan and Park Ji-Sung’s return to fitness, means that the Portuguese winger is unlikely to find many minutes at Old Trafford in the near future.

“Some big clubs have been mentioned for Nani, like Milan and Benfica, but there has been no contact made with us – and we wouldn’t entertain selling him anyway,” said Ferguson

“He is only 23. If someone came in for Nani in January we would tell him that he is going absolutely nowhere.”

Nani, who has made 85 appearances and scored 12 goals for United, has previously spoken to the media about his frustration at not progressing at Old Trafford. This in the season following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Real Madrid – Nani’s big opening has become a huge anti-climax. Instead, the winger opted for a tactic that has rarely worked for players under Ferguson.

“He’s a young boy and he wants to play – and he might get a chance against Spurs in the Carling Cup this week.”

“He has suffered because Valencia’s form has been excellent and because Obertan has emerged as an interesting player.

“It is no criticism of Nani, but the way things have developed in the last few weeks have gone against him. I have spoken to him and told him that he must take his chance when it comes along,” Ferguson added.

While Ferguson has previously shown loyalty to players criticised by both the fans and the media, Nani has provided little tangible evidence that he is progressing at United. Patience – even Ferguson’s – is wearing thin with a player who at his best is frustrating and worst a liability.

Moreover, Gabriel Obertan’s superb form since making his début against Barnsley in the Carling Cup a month ago has proffered Ferguson with an exciting new option on the left side of United’s attack. With Antonio Valencia superb against Portsmouth on Saturday, Ryan Giggs majestic all season long and workaholic Park now fit, Ferguson has little need for the Cape Verde-born flyer.

Frenchman Obertan, a £3 million capture from Bordeaux this summer, was a surprise purchase by Ferguson. But the French under-21 international has surpassed all early expectations, despite being laid-up with a spinal injury for the first four months of the season. The injury, which might explain the player’s lack of progression under Laurent Blanc’s tutelage at Bordeaux, was only discovered when the forward arrived at Old Trafford. At 16, Obertan was one of the very best in the world, according to Ferguson.

Nani must now work for his opportunity at Old Trafford – a trait that sadly seems lacking in the player – if he is to survive into a fourth season at the club. Indeed, Ferguson has little wish to cut squad numbers in the middle of the season but he is hardly likely to reduce the player’s price by slapping a ‘for sale’ sign on Nani’s forehead either.


timbo - November 30, 2009 Reply

Guy, go over your material before you publish it online. It’s littered with mistakes, which is fine if you’re just a typical poster on fan forums, but unacceptable if the aim is to try and present your credentials as a semi-serious sports writer.

As far as the thrust of the piece is concerned, Nani’s problem is not so much his work ethic, rather an inability to learn from his mistakes and progress with the mental aspects to his play. His decision making is as bad as ever, in stark contrast to young Obertan, who has walked into the side and established his credentials very quickly, showcasing not only a superb skill set but a great deal of maturity and understanding regarding the requirements of his position on the field.

Ed - November 30, 2009 Reply

Ouch! Unfortunately I don’t have a sub to help out, unless you’re offering!

Sanj - November 30, 2009 Reply

Who the f*ck do you think you are? What exactly are the “mistakes” that are “littered” throughout the article? I see direct quotes from Sir Alex and supporting details that are all correct. You then proceed to comment on Nani, as if you know the true problem- perhaps David Gill should sack Sir Alex and hire the high and mighty Timbo. I must say that my favorite part is where you comment about the “thrust” of the piece and essentially say the exact same things that Ed mentioned.

Mozza - December 2, 2009 Reply

I have to say this continued giddyness about Obertan is bemusing to say the least. Forgetting about Nani for a minute, who undoubtedly has been a disappointment after initially showing promise in his first season, Obertan hasn’t given any indication as yet that there is any end product whatsoever behind his nice footwork and fancy stepovers. I think we’re all so desperate for someone to make the left sided midfield role their own that we’re too quick to project qualities on to players that they haven’t yet shown they possess. I’m not saying he’s ‘shit’ or not going to make it or anything like that but it would be wise to judge players on their individual merits and on what they’ve actually done in a United shirt. Obertan hasn’t shown anything exceptional so far apart from a willingness to run at players and try some ronaldoesque step overs, in fact when you get right down to it he hasn’t produced anything close to what Nani has in his best performances. Again we’re all too quick to forget the excellent crosses and stupendous shots that Nani has produced on occasion. When Obertan starts producing crosses, through balls and shots that lead to goals then I’ll start climbing on his bandwagon, until then he’s just another young player with it all to prove as far as I and everyone else should be concerned.

theo williams - December 3, 2009 Reply

nani is not like that.he’s a fine footballer and he does learn from his mistakes.he’s has developed into a better player since he arrived at old trafford than what he was at sporting.his decision making is not bad.lest you forget it was his accurate decision that led us to a victory in russia against cska.he just need to know that he can be a better player than what he is now and put his mind to it.don’t forget his first season.he scored some wonderful goals.

Andrew - November 30, 2009 Reply

BOOM Timbo in with the king-hit. Have to say I’m pleased with the talk of nani leaving. He is weak mentally and although he gets a lot of the ball he almost contrives to waste it from even the best of positions.

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ej - December 2, 2009 Reply

i must say that with nani its very mental, the talent and ability are here for all to see as on his day he can rip a defender to shreds.
he was hyped from the get go and that does not help, he is no ronaldo, as that player had the healthy blend of talent confidence and yes or yes mental toughness, that key ingredient separates the very good from the great ones.
with park coming back and obertan emerging and giggs going i see no need for nani, non whatsoever.
its unfortunate tho, for me he will be a quaresma in that he cannot handle what comes with playing for a major club, a contender in all competitions, that is my verdict.
any bid of 13/14 million should be taken.
may i also add that tom cleverly is proving to be a useful winger with goals aswell and can come in as backup to valencia.

Chris Sterio - December 2, 2009 Reply

Obertan is proving to be a good bit of business from Fergie, a low price, low expectations and a hard working player. The complete opposite of Nani in fact.

With the depth chart for the wings with Giggs and Valencia 1st choice, with Park, Obertan and Tosic covering, from a playing perspective Nani can be sold.

The problem is Fergie paid a fair amount for him so he will be reluctant to sell, the same goes for Anderson. If they sold them both they would probably lose out about 15 million combined from their original prices.

In midfield Hargreaves and Fletcher would be first choice followed by Carrick and Anderson as back ups. Scholes, Gibson and Possebon (when back from loan) to cover. If United can find a better player than Anderson for 15 mill and sell him to finance then it could happen.

One suggestion is sell Nani (he played well v. CSKA) and Tomasz Kuszczak to CSKA for Akinfeev who looked very good for the Russians.

Andrew - December 4, 2009 Reply

Yes anyone who uses the word thrust in an article is a tosser

Luis Nani - May 11, 2010 Reply

So glad that Nani finally started to prove his worth in teh second half of the season – hope he does well for Portugal too 🙂

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