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Where has it all gone wrong for Nani at Manchester United?

Nani, the man once tipped to be Manchester United's next Cristiano Ronaldo faces being left out in the cold for the Red Devils. We take a look at where it all went wrong for the winger.

After signing for Manchester United in the summer of 2007, Nani was said to be the eventual replacement for countyman Cristiano Ronaldo. Until Ronaldo left for Madrid in 2009, Nani was always in his shadow and often described as a 'poor-man's Ronaldo'.

Nani was more or less a bit-part player until his compatriot left for Spain but he did have his moments - a 30-yard winner against Tottenham marked his first ever Premier League goal and a man-of-the-match performance against Arsenal in the FA Cup later that season followed as did a number of important assists. Nani also scored his side's fifth penalty as United beat Chelsea 6-5 on spot-kicks as United added the Champions League to their Premier League title - the perfect way to crown his first season in English football.

Post-Ronaldo, Nani started the 2009-10 with a string of poor performances but after a heart-to-heart with Sir Alex Ferguson, he soon found form and was rewarded with a new four-year contract. Another successful season followed as the midfielder totaled nine goals and a massive 19 assists in the Premier League - this was enough to win him a place in the PFA Team of the Year and Manchester United's Player's Player of the Year award.

Last season, Nani only managed to score two Premier League goals after Christmas and it was this form which prevented him being offered a new deal. He suffered with injury and despite being trusted ahead of Valencia in the big game against Manchester City in May, but was unable to make an impression. His current contract still has two years to run and with that in mind, Manchester United will not let him leave on the cheap.

Nani gave a well below-par performance as the Red Devils slumped to a one-nil defeat against Everton on Monday night; the Portuguese winger failed to create anything from either flank and was booked after only three minutes for unsporting behaviour. He can count himself lucky that he was allowed to complete the best part of 80 minutes before finally being replaced by Ashley Young- the England midfielder is expected to replace Nani in Man United's next match, a home game against West London club, Fulham.

The fact that fellow winger Antonio Valencia was deployed at right-back against the Toffees was probably the only reason Nani started the game and with the 25-year-old set to lose his place in the side for Saturday's game at Old Trafford plus the signings of Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie, first-team football will be much harder to come by this year for the Portugal international.

Nani was said to be after a new four-year deal and wanted to increase his current £90,000-a-week to more than £120,000, something which now seems extremely unlikely. Both Real Madrid and Zenit St Petersburg are said to have shown an interest Nani with the latter reportedly having made a bid for the winger but United will not consider selling unless they receive an offer of over £25 million for the player.

How do Manchester United fans feel about the situation?

image: © notsogoodphotography

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