Manchester United weekend round-up: Nani to Arsenal and gone Bebe gone?


All the news, views and transfer rumours from Old Trafford this weekend…

The transfer window is not yet open, but Manchester United continue to be linked with a whole host of players. For a run-down of the weekend’s top rumours, you can read our Saturday report here and our Sunday report here.

One player who is almost certain to leave Old Trafford this summer is Nani, and reports today suggest Arsenal are now in the box-seat for his signature.

After United rejected a £6million offer from Galatasaray for the winger last week, the Gunners are said to be willing to pay the £8.5million asking price.

This isn’t the first time the Portuguese has been linked with a move to the Emirates. But with interest from Juventus and Monaco it may take all of Arsene Wenger’s persuasive powers to convince Nani to remain in England.

Another winger who looks to be on his way is the future quiz question that is Bebe. Following loan stints in Turkey and Portugal, the 22-year-old is now said to be seeking a permanent return to his homeland with Sporting Lisbon.

Speaking of the club he said, “They put faith in young players, appreciate them, and play an attractive game that suits my style. It is a club that can grow. I haven’t found that in England.”

If that is the player’s parting-shot at United, it is one that can easily be countered with a “highlights” package of his contribution to the team since arriving in 2010.

Jose Mourinho has revealed that he would have turned down the United job had it been offered to him, and that he knew of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement plans for some time before they were announced.

I knew that Ferguson was retiring many months ago and I was so happy to have his trust,” the new Chelsea manager said.

Why do I know that? Because we are friends.”

When he puts it like that, it is a little bit harder to doubt him.

In a weekend of honesty, Rio Ferdinand has revealed his reasons for retiring from international football.

Basically, I could play for another two or three years – or play two or three games for England and be finished in a year,” he said. “It wasn’t a contest.”

In the same interview he said that he had considered retiring following Ferguson’s decision to do just that. But having signed a new deal, and after his excellent form last season, we haven’t seen the last of Ferdinand just yet.

And finally, Alexander Buttner has spoken of the severe homesickness that almost caused him to leave the club less than a year since his arrival.

The left-back’s current life is very different to the years he spent growing up on a travellers’ camp in Holland. But he praised the influence of his girlfriend and his brother in ensuring he overcame his anxieties.

I’m a fighter,” he said. “But had I been on my own, I’d have got on a plane back to Holland a long time ago.”

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