Further indication Nani's Manchester United career is over?

Manchester United winger Nani did not even make the substitute's bench last night in Madrid. Can we take it as read he will be sold in the summer?

Back in May 2011, Portuguese winger Nani suffered a big blow to his Manchester United career.

After his best season to date, he had scored 10 goals and 19 assists, he was snubbed in the most important game of all - sitting on the bench at Wembley as Manchester United lost to Barcelona in the Champions League Final 3-1.

Also snubbed that night was Dimitar Berbatov who did not even make the bench - one year later he was sold to Fulham for £5 million.

Now it may not take a year to find out what fate belies Nani, as his contract expires in 15 months time - but he did not even make the bench last night against Real Madrid, and must be wondering what his future holds.

If his Champions League Final snub in 2011 was a surprise to him, he should have seen this one coming after a disappointed and injury-blighted season.

Despite that, he had shown flashes of talent since coming back from injury, looking bright in the 1-0 win over Fulham. He sat out the Everton game on the bench at the weekend, but was discarded last night.

What will grate him even more, is that United didn't even start a natural right or left winger in his place. Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa were selected on either side of Wayne Rooney in a three behind Robin van Persie, and the plan worked and United stifled Madrid and Welbeck scored a goal.

Also snubbed was Antonio Valencia, who has been in poor form, but the number seven did at least play on the bench and get onto the pitch for the final stages. Nani simply watched from the stands.

His future has been the subject of speculation since August, with talk of swap deals for Porto's James Rodriguez and the like, and this only adds fuel to the fire. 

It may transpire that Ferguson gives Nani a more prominent role in the return leg; Welbeck's selection out wide may just have been tailor-made for the away leg, and when United need to go for it, it makes sense to have a key creator and player with magic at his feet, however frustrating, like Nani, available either from the start or on the bench.

If not, then it will only reinforce the view that Nani, with who contract talks have broken down, will be off in the summer as Sir Alex does not see him as playing a key role for the club.

What do you think of Nani's omission? Could he play a role at Old Trafford?


image: © notsogoodphotography

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