Manchester United could include Nani in a proposal to try and convince Benfica to let Nicolas Gaitan move to Old Trafford this summer, according to the latest reports coming out of Portugal.
Only this morning did claims emerge that United had agreed a fee for the Argentinian midfielder, who is also supposedly wanted by Chelsea, but since then Portuguese radio station Radio Renaissance - more specifically it’s sports show ‘White Ball’ - has relayed rumours that Nani has been mentioned in talks between United and Benfica, promoting the idea that he could transfer clubs.
According to the report in question the Portuguese winger has already been formally consulted on the idea, though it makes no mention of his response or inclination with regards to the matter at hand.
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What it does make abundantly clear is that United are keen to get rid of Nani this summer as he still holds a three-year contract at Old Trafford and isn’t in Louis van Gaal’s plans for the future.
Thus it could be that the Red Devils kill two birds with one stone; offloading Nani is the ideal way to get £120,000-a-week off of their wage bill and getting Gaitan in return is something Van Gaal is by all accounts intending to do anyway.
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The deal at hand
Of course given the nature of the transaction United would surely be expected to pay some sort of compensation fee on top of sending Nani back to his homeland, with his opposite number valued at €30 million as it stands.
Something White Ball doesn’t really address is the issue that could be found in Nani joining another top Portuguese team only a season after spending a second spell at Sporting Lisbon.
The winger was given his football education at the Estadio Jose Alvalade and might be reluctant to fall out of favour with their fans after the support they’ve shown him by way of effectively joining forces with their domestic enemies.
That said he has apparently made it clear in the past that he would be open to considering the idea of playing for another club in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and it can be assumed he isn’t talking about the likes of Academica and Gil Vicente.
Van Gaal has his plans
One thing that can be taken from the whole saga is that Nani looks highly unlikely to be a United player come next season regardless of his involvement in the Gaitan talks.
Van Gaal is looking to press ahead with plans to challenge for the Premier League title and whereas the Benfica man might have a place his project moving forward, the player who could replace him at the Estadio da Luz doesn’t.
United fans, would you be happy to see Nani heading in the other direction if Gaitan is to arrive at Old Trafford? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments box below.