Nani has been given the clearest indication yet that he would be willing to return to Manchester United in the coming transfer window, after rediscovering his best form while out on loan with Sporting Lisbon.
Louis van Gaal deemed the 28-year-old surplus to requirements after taking a good look at him in the early days since taking up the reigns at Old Trafford. David Moyes gave him a new contract at the start of last season, so selling him was always going to be difficult after so many years under performing.
"Nani did provide one moment of interest in the match, but it wasn't exactly what Manchester United fans would have been hoping for"
Only a loan back to his homeland was possible and it was expected that was the last of Nani has been seen at Old Trafford, but now things have changed. He appears to have found freedom with Sporting and is showing some of the form that originally convinced Sir Alex Ferguson to splash out over £20million for him in 2007.
Meanwhile, Manchester United have been struggling for any real form and a lack of penetration going forward, despite the arrivals of Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao to go with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.
This led to suggestions that he could be recalled from his loan spell in the approaching January transfer window, but it was not talked up by either him or the Old Trafford club. Now, however, he seems to have changed his tune.
"Back in January? I won't say no," he is quoted as saying by Portuguese publication O Jogo following Portugal's 1-0 win over Argentina on Tuesday night.
The match was held at Old Trafford and billed as a clash of the superstars with both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi leading their respective teams out. Much was expected of the game but neither side managed to deliver anything much of note.
Fans disappointed with the teams' performances were compounded at half time when it was announced that both Messi and Ronaldo had been substituted. A 0-0 draw looked inevitable, but Raphael Guerreiro popped up with a late header to decide the match.
Nani did provide one moment of interest in the match, but it wasn't exactly what Manchester United fans would have been hoping for. In the 18th minute he went in heavy on Angel di Maria and sent him crashing to the ground.
Van Gaal's new £60million record signing played on for an hour before coming off, which at the time would have been a positive, but the bad news was to come. Gerardo Martino, Argentina's manager, confirmed the former Real Madrid man would go for an x-ray on his foot.
He is now a doubt for the weekend's game against Arsenal in the Premier League at Emirates Stadium and Van Gaal has several injury worries. It is a great opportunity for the Red Devils to lay down a marker and get their season going against a team that looks likely to be a rival for a place in the top four.