Manchester United winger Nani has admitted that his form at Old Trafford dipped during the latter stages of his time there, but only because he was unhappy at the club.
The Manchester Evening News this morning carries quotes from the Portuguese winger which detail how he believes the “dream” of playing for United dwindled over time, along with his happiness there. Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson Nani has been routinely ostracised for under performing, with the general consensus being that he is not good enough to be a first-team player.
The woes experienced under David Moyes appeared to carry on after Louis van Gaal was appointed to the Old Trafford hot-seat, and Nani was eventually loaned out to Sporting Lisbon before transfer deadline day this summer, as part of the deal which saw Marcos Rojo head the other way.
And now, with the 27-year-old’s long-term future at United looking more precarious than ever before, he has revealed that almost left last season, only for Moyes to stand in the way of the exit.
“Playing for Manchester United was my dream but I suffered a dip in form,” Nani said.
"You can't play well if you are not happy.
"I received a lot of offers last season from Turkey, England, and Spain.
"They held talks with Manchester United but Moyes did not want to let me go.”
The Portugal international also took the opportunity to once again hit out at those who believe his decision to move back to Sporting is a step back in his career.
A number of high-profile figures have questioned whether the transfer will aid him at all with regards to his development and plans to work his way back into Van Gaal’s first-team, but Nani has resolutely stood by the notion that it was the right option.
“I do not think that it's a step back,” he said.
"I had other options but I decided to play at this club. It was my choice."
Nani at United
It may have been his choice to move to Sporting, but there can be no doubting that his departure was somewhat enforced by Van Gaal. The Dutchman spent the first few weeks of his reign at Old Trafford discerning who was suitable for his squad moving forward, and then attempted to clear the deadwood to make room for new arrivals.
Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley joined Nani in leaving United, with the likes of Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Marouane Fellaini all facing a period of uncertainty before transfer business can resume in January.
What the future holds
For Nani himself the year-long sabbatical he will take from United will give him one last opportunity to stake a claim for a spot in Van Gaal’s plans. Whilst he has never really lived up to the lofty potential he promised when he initially moved to the Premier League in 2007, on his day he is a top asset, and the Portuguese Primeira Liga won’t be where he wants to stay if has any sort of ambition with regards to playing at the highest level.