Manchester United winger Nani has paid tribute to outgoing defensive duo Wes Brown and John O’Shea after the pair signed four-year deals with Sunderland.
Having amassed more than 750 Red Devils appearances between them, the transfers mark an end of an era at Old Trafford, and one that brings sadness to the 24-year-old Portuguese star.
"I think Wes has had a brilliant career at United," Nani told MUTV. "He was a very important player for United and is a fantastic professional and a good friend. He helped the young lads a lot and was always ready to play with the teammates. He's a very friendly player and was very close to me as well. I enjoyed my time I played with him.”
Following their respective moves to the Stadium of Light, Brown and O’Shea will link up with another former Manchester United defender in current Black Cats boss Steve Bruce.
And Nani, who has scored 16 times in 95 league games for United, is backing both players to be an instant hit on Wearside in 2011-12. "I've enjoyed playing with a lot of players and these two players were very good for me as well because of the experience they've got,” he continued.
"They are very good people and I hope they do well and keep doing their best at Sunderland."
Brown and O’Shea could soon be joined by another of their former Manchester United teammates in the form of Darron Gibson.
The Republic of Ireland international has been heavily linked with a move to the north East, and the transfer is expected to go through in the next few days.
Like Brown, O’Shea has joined today for an undisclosed fee after United last month accepted a joint offer of more than £12million for the pair and midfielder Darron Gibson.
O'Shea said: "Once I'd heard reports about the club and the people here, the ambitions and what the manager was all about, it was the only place I was going to come to."
Manager Steve Bruce added: "John has been a solid, consistent part of Manchester United's squad for well over a decade, which goes to show the fantastic pedigree of player we have signed.
"He is a wonderful professional both on and off the field and his wealth of experience and versatility will be great attributes for us. I'm delighted with the players we have been able to secure ahead of the new season."