It’s been an up and down week to be a Manchester United fan by all accounts. On Saturday the Red Devils suffered defeat in their opening Premier League fixture at the hands of Garry Monk’s Swansea City side, paving the way for fears that morale was once again set to plummet.
Nani for Rojo
Indeed it looked as though fan frustration could boil over, with large sections of the United faithful openly protesting at the perceived lack of spending in the transfer market.
However, never one to rest on his laurels when under pressure, Louis van Gaal has reacted in a way only he could, by overseeing the arrival of World Cup star Marcos Rojo in a deal which sees Nani going the other way.
The Argentina centre-back is sure to bolster the Dutchman’s back-line, and offers promise going forward, but it’s perhaps the relinquishing of Nani’s talents which has the transfer columns most engaged.
The Portuguese winger has long been linked with an exit this summer having failed to hit the dizzy heights once expected of him, and the season-long loan move to Sporting could well signal the end of his United career.
The Nani rejection
But it would appear that his departure wasn’t always planned by Van Gaal, who, according to Italian sources, stood in the way of a proposed Juventus move. It’s said the Turin giants made inroads towards signing Nani earlier on in the summer but the United boss refused them, despite the fact they had some sort of agreement in place with former boss David Moyes.
It was widely reported by the media ahead of last January's transfer window that the winger would be moving on, with a number of potential suitors named in Italy. However, an injury prior to the window's opening meant that Nani was unable to complete a medical and so stayed at Old Trafford.
Nevertheless the winger will now be plying his trade in the Primera Liga, and it was claimed yesterday he was “very happy” to be returning to his former club. Rojo on the other hand described United as the “biggest club in the world” and will be looking to impress after Van Gaal labelled him a gifted player.
What's more the 27-year-old could well be harbouring intentions of using his season-long loan to impress his parent club. The move is judged by many to signal the end of the Portugal international's career at Old Trafford, though this time next year the circumstances could well have changed drastically.
Unlike Anderson and Wilfried Zaha - who are both also linked with exits this summer - Nani has history of being a regular in the United first-team, and there are those who still believe he has what it takes to perform at the highest level.