Manchester United should explore the possibility of re-signing Nani given the Portuguese’s impressive performances at Euro 2016.
The 29-year-old, who scored for his country in games against Iceland and Hungary in the tournament’s group stages, has netted the same amount of goals as Cristiano Ronaldo so far.
And though he was inconsistent during his time at Old Trafford, compatriot Jose Mourinho could be the perfect man to ensure he finally realises his potential.
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In recent years, Nani has slowly but steadily rebuilt his career, with the winger shining on loan at Sporting Lisbon before signing for Fenerbahce for a poultry £4.3 million – a stark contrast to the £19 million United shelled out to sign him in 2007.
And his performances in France this summer have shown him at his best, with Nani scoring his country’s first goal of the competition in a 1-1 draw against Iceland.
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Though he drew a blank alongside Ronaldo in Portugal’s stalemate with Austria, he then returned to the scoresheet in the 3-3 draw with Hungary in a game that ultimately ensured they reach the knockout stages.
Two goals in three games has prompted talk of a return to England with Ronald Koeman’s Everton, but United should attempt to hijack any deal given that he remains capable of winning matches on his own.
Nani was signed from Sporting as a teenager and, despite often being forced to play in the shadow of the likes of Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov, he offered enough evidence to suggest he deserved a longer stay at Old Trafford.
In his first season at the club, he helped them retain the Premier League and beat Avram Grant’s Chelsea to the Champions League, scoring the fifth penalty in the shoot-out before John Terry would slip and cost the Blues the crown.
Once Ronaldo left, he was able to truly blossom and was one of the stars of the season alongside Rooney when United lost out to Chelsea 2010 and then regained it one year later.
David Moyes struggled to coax the best from him when he succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, whilst Nani was loaned to Sporting then sold to Fenerbahce when Louis van Gaal swaggered into town the following year.
Worse players than Nani have been able to cling onto their Old Trafford careers, with Phil Jones, Anders Lindegaard and Anderson all outstaying the Portuguese.
The latter was so bad he wasn’t even able to be loaned out before the club finally cut ties with him in January last year.
Nani represents a gamble but could be a cheap alternative to the likes of Henrik Mkhitaryan and Gareth Bale this summer. Mourinho could be the man to get him fully fit and firing once more.
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