On-loan Manchester United star Nani is reportedly furious at his current club, Sporting Lisbon, for their refusal to allow him to speak to Slovenian reporters after the side’s 1-1 draw with Maribor in the Champions League.
According to Portuguese newspaper A Bola reporters were keen to speak to Nani after Wednesday’s fixture, but before he could get a chance to acquiesce to their request he was prevented from doing so by a representative of Sporting.
It’s said that Nani was less than happy with the club’s stance that he was not allowed to speak to the press in Slovenia, and could be the first sign that cracks are already beginning to form between himself and the team he will play for until at least the end of this season.
The fixture at hand
Sporting’s European adventure got off to a fairly slow start, with their tie against Slovenian champions Maribor finishing 1-1. It was Nani who got the goal for the visitors, with his left-footed drive giving Sporting the lead until the home side equalised through Luka Zahovic in stoppage time.
In truth Nani and Co. will have been disappointed not to kick off their campaign by returning to Portugal with three points, particularly as their opening fixture is followed by games against Chelsea and German giants Schalke 04. Sporting’s manager, Marco Silva, will be all too aware of the importance of beating Maribor in the return leg on home soil, and his side will now have to take points off of the other two sides in the group if they want to realistically qualify.
Yet it was the post-match obstructions when it came to Nani talking to reporters that got to him the most, with the winger believed to be miffed at his club for the actions they took.
To say that it’s been a bad year for the player is an understatement. A terrible last term for United saw him tumble down the pecking order, only to be frozen out for good after the introduction of Louis van Gaal. That, coupled with his nation’s dismal display at this summer’s World Cup is sure to have him feeling the pressure, and there’s no doubt he’ll be desperate to restore his reputation at Sporting.
For Nani only penned a new five-year deal which sees him get £120,000-a-week at Old Trafford last September, meaning that he doesn’t have to worry about being out of contract upon his return to United - as is the case with Tom Cleverley.