If Portuguese winger Nani stays at Manchester United for the 2014/15 season, then he will embark upon his eighth campaign at Old Trafford. That means, in three years time, he could be handed a testimonial with one of the greatest clubs in world football.
Nani would move alongside recent United legends like Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand. Think about that for a minute...
The 27-year-old has played the majority of his professional career at The Theatre of Dreams, but still has so many doubters inside and outside of the club. Despite struggling once again last season, Nani signed a new five-year deal with United.
When he arrived at the club – all those years ago - there were suggestions that he could fill the boots of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo. We all know how his footballing career has panned out...
In fact, Ronaldo's recent words may have taken the Portuguese camp by surprise, as their World Cup ended in the group stage. The Real Madrid star labelled his international team 'average', which must have been hard to take for Nani and Co.
But, ultimately, there are many average Portuguese players – and Nani is one of them. It could have been very different for the United winger, however. Many will point to some outstanding performances in a Red Devils shirt, as he destroyed defenders and scored quite sensational goals. A couple of years back – in what even seems to have been his prime – he wasn't able to deliver on a regular basis. Now, he rarely delivers at all.
Injuries have played a part in Nani's downfall – or unfilled promise – but he's just not progressed and proved himself in recent time.
Louis van Gaal
Perhaps, then, that's why he's been linked with a move away from Old Trafford. After a disastrous season under David Moyes, United are set to enter another new era under Dutchman Louis Van Gaal.
The new United boss will certainly have his own ideas as he looks to bring the club back to their ultimate best. Nani will certainly be wondering if he will be part of Van Gaal's plans. But, in truth, he will be lucky to get another chance at United. Does he really deserve one? Has he done enough to prove that this up coming season may be his time?
He's had enough chances now and it makes sense for the winger to move on, whilst Van Gaal builds a new Manchester United side. The Dutchman has already handed Antonio Valencia a new contract with the club. Wilfried Zaha will be hoping for better after a nightmare debut Premier League season which never really got going. Ashley Young, meanwhile, another inconsistent winger, will be sitting nervously hoping his Old Trafford stint continues.
The futures of Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa – who may not see themselves as wingers – also appear uncertain under the new regime. Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw have already arrived at the Theatre of Dreams, and Van Gaal may want to further build before the end of the tranfser window. But what appears to be clear, is that Nani needs a refreshing challenge: Something to kick start his career.
But what's next for the inconsistent winger? Italy seems a possibility: The likes of Juventus and Co. must be interested in offering Nani a life line in Serie A.
Then comes Arsenal. To the surprise of Gunners fans, Nani has been linked with a move to the Emirates in recent time. Well, it's arguably not the most shocking of transfer links. After all, some of Nani's best performances in the red shirt of United have come against Arsenal: Just ask their fans.
He may have proved his class against the north London outfit on occasions over the years, but it would certainly represent a surprise if he joined them this summer. Do Arsenal really need a player like Nani? They have the likes of Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, who must be of higher value than the Manchester United misfit.
Wenger could also do without adding another injury prone player to his more than vulnerable squad. Unless the Arsenal boss wants to make a statement by signing a rival's player (for a change), then this potential transfer seems odd.
Arsenal don't need Nani; Nani doesn't need them. The Portuguese flop is in need of a new challenge, and it's time for him to pack his bags and leave England.
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