As United reject a £6million offer from Galatasaray for Nani, is that a true reflection of the player's worth?
When Manchester United signed Nani from Sporting Lisbon in 2007 it was hailed as a master-stroke. Acting swiftly in the face of competition for his and Anderson’s signatures, a delegation from Old Trafford completed the signings while most of us were asleep.
Headlines the next morning hailed the Portuguese winger as the heir-apparent to Ryan Giggs, and the double signing (so quickly following that of Owen Hargreaves) as a statement of intent that would “send shockwaves” through the Premier League.
Six years on, and with only a fleeting period back in 2010 when he actually looked like a player, Turkish side Galatasaray offered £6million for him.
It was an offer quickly turned down, with United seeking closer to £8.5million for a winger in the last year of his contract. But even that price says a lot about how far Nani hasn’t come in his six years at Old Trafford.
At first glance, a £6million offer for a player of such ability seemed like an insult. At just 26, and with more talent than he knows what to do with – literally – surely the Turkish side were having a laugh. Surely they didn’t actually think United would accept such a reduced fee for a player who for the briefest time looked like he might just replace Cristiano Ronaldo at the club.
Because he did…really! You have to strain to remember. And it wasn’t for long. But in those halcyon months of 2010, Nani’s form suggested that the penny had finally dropped.
The problem is, he is the kind of player for whom it drops often, only to be swiftly forgotten in a whirl of pointless step-overs and an inability to grasp the facets of effective wing-play.
So maybe a £6million offer was about right. And maybe United’s slightly inflated asking price is a way of getting every last penny from a signing who failed to improve despite the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson.
The truth is Galatasaray's offer is both an insult and a reality-check; because the player is a frustrating combination of superstar and unfulfilled talent.
How much do you feel Nani is worth? And can he still become the player his innate ability suggests?
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