Is Sir Alex Ferguson bluffing on Nani sale?

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted he has no intention of selling Nani this summer, despite the winger’s well-documented refusal to sign a new contract.

Nani’s current contract with the newly crowned Premier League champions expires in the summer of 2014, meaning he enters the final year of his deal imminently, at the end of this season.

The Portuguese trickster has spent 6 years at old Trafford, arriving in 2007 and was hailed as a potential replacement for his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo who eventually departed for Real Madrid in 2009.

Nani has made a total of 212 first-team appearances for the Red Devils and posed a real threat from the right flank as he developed under Ferguson’s guidance.

However, in the last couple of seasons his form and fitness have seen him fall down the pecking order and this term he’s made just 11 appearances in the Premier League, of which only three were for a full 90 minutes.

His former record of 10 goals a season from his position on the wing has now slipped away from him and he’s netted just one league goal for United this term, making just three assists.

The 26-year-old is heavily linked with a potential transfer to Serie A giants Juventus but Ferguson has dismissed suggestions Nani will be sold this summer.

“We have no plans to sell anyone,” he said.

“That’s a fact. There is no need for us to sell anyone. Nani played last week at Arsenal and he did well.”

“When he is in form there are very few better than him. So I think we will bring him back in pre-season training and he will be all right,” he added.

Whilst Ferguson may insist he has no ‘plans’ to sell anyone, I would be surprised to see Nani appear at Old Trafford next season. Ferguson is an astute businessman, however, who knows that revealing his ‘plans’ could scupper them – if he publicly states he wants to sell Nani, that would instantly drive down the price potential buyers would be prepared to offer United.

Nani is valued around £24 million but after the season he’s had, I wouldn’t expect him to command that price. There is no doubt he is a player of exceptional talent but, despite Ferguson’s bluffing, the fact remains he hasn’t fulfilled his potential with United and will subsequently be moved on post haste; but at the right price.


image: © notsogoodphotography

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