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Sell Nani, Sign Willian - Do Manchester United dare?

Man United Nani

Should Manchester United dare to make an opportune upgrade in their wing position?

It's fair to say Manchester United's summer has not gone to plan. The spectre of one high profile failed transfer target after another, and the Wayne Rooney mess has cast a shadow over a squad which should be reveling in their record 20th league title.

Of course there is extra pressure because new manager David Moyes and new CEO Edward Woodward need to reassure fans they are the right men to be trusted at the helm of the club.

But spare a though for poor fans of Anzhi Machachkala. Not only did they re-sign Christopher Samba for £12.5 million, but now their whole 'project' is ready to 'implode'.

A whole cast of stars are about to be sold off - we profiled a top 10 earlier today - as their billionaire owner decided to 'reformat' the project, with the aim of retracting their budget from an estimated $180 million to around $60 million.

Premier League clubs are said to be on alert, and we wonder if Manchester United should be one of them?

Clearly United need a central midfielder, and will likely continue to pursue that; but it is not every day players of the quality of Willian come onto the market at a knock down price.

The Brazilian was signed from Shakhtar for £30 million in January, after impressive displays in the Champions League group stages which helped knock Chelsea out of the competition.

So the question here is whether United choose to move on a player in Nani who despite indications he may be willing to re-enter talks, has less than 12 months remaining on his current contract, and Monaco are said to remain interested.

But that is also a diversion from the issue which is his form, of a poor quality over the past 12-18 months, described as inconsistent at best.

How much longer do United and their fans put up with it? Is it fair to pile the pressure on Wilfried Zaha? Of course there are other candidates to be moved on, with Ashley Young worse last season and Antonio Valencia also poor, but that brings us back to his contract - making him the most likely of the three to be sacrificed for any new man in.

Would Nani out and Willian in be an upgrade? It sure would, with the electric Brazilian an exciting 24-year-old who has three assists in his first four games of the season for Anzhi.

His final season at Shakhtar saw him contribute seven goals and 12 assists in 22 games, a very healthy return.

The chances of this happening remain slim, as the club appearing to consider offering Nani a new deal, although a month on from those reports one has still not been signed.

Sorting out Wayne Rooney and a central midfielder or two will be priority, but anybody who watched the Red Devils regularly last season will know that their wing situation needs improvement.

They could hope Zaha helps turn it around and spurs the others on, or they could take bold decisive action now, and take advantage of a club willing to sell. Really, is it any more far fetched than trying to sign Cesc Fabregas?

Would you be happy with this deal? Would United even consider it? Should they?

image: © gordonflood.com

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