Nani: Sporting move not backwards step

Portuguese international Nani has denied that joining Sporting Lisbon on loan from Manchester United is moving backwards in his career.

Nani left Old Trafford for a season loan at Sporting Lisbon in the summer transfer window but he doesn't feel he has moved down a level.

The winger had fallen out of favour at Manchester United and lost the support of many of the fans during a difficult 2013-14 campaign.

After links with Juventus and Inter, Nani eventually agreed to return to his homeland and Sporting - the club he played for between 2005 and 2007 before signing for United.

Speaking after Portugal's humiliating 1-0 defeat at home to Albania, Nani put a brave face on his current situation.

"I don't think that returning here is a step backward," Nani insisted to reporters after the final whistle.

"I had other options but I decided to play for this club. It was my choice."

Nani is under contract at Manchester United until 2018, but it seems slightly unlikely that he will return permanently.

He suffered a miserable debut for Sporting when he missed a penalty was yellow carded and substituted in a game against Arouca on August 23 and at present Louis van Gaal is probably not losing much sleep over letting him leave.

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