Nani confirms he can't stay at Sporting Lisbon past this summer

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On loan Manchester United winger Nani has confirmed his desire to return to Old Trafford at the end of the season, despite the fact that Sporting Lisbon fans are desperate to see him remain with them.

The Portuguese playmaker has enjoyed an impressive year in his home country having moved to Sporting on loan last summer, but due to the deal he struck with United whilst David Moyes was still at the helm - a five-year agreement worth a mooted £120,000-a-week - a permanent transfer there doesn’t look remotely likely.

Sporting's Nani affair

Of course supporters of the club would love to see a player of his ability remain with them, and Nani himself has had to essentially rule out the prospect before leaving them in the lurch when his loan spell ends in the coming months.

"The fans asked me to stay but we all know it's hard," he said to Portuguese newspaper A Bola. "I have a contract with Manchester United and my ambitions are different this time.

"I am very happy to have spent a year at Sporting. It was a great time, helping Sporting where I could and finish in the top three. The rest we'll see."

United future

Now whether or not Nani remains a United player by the end of the summer transfer window is another matter entirely, with Louis van Gaal yet to make it clear if he has the 28-year-old in his plans for the future. In his absence United haven’t lacked any attacking nous, and in the likes of Ashley Young, Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata he’ll have fierce competition for a starting spot.

It could well be that Nani returns to Old Trafford to find himself used as a bargaining chip to help United land a summer transfer, or he is simply frozen out and forced to watch from the bench.

More competitions

The possibility is there that he has done enough during his year-long sabbatical to convince Van Gaal that he’s still worthy, but given the sort of names that find themselves linked with United it’s safe to assume Nani will struggle.

Earlier on today it was confirmed the Red Devils have signed PSV starlet Memphis Depay, another attacking-midfielder, and rumours persist in claiming that they’re monitoring Gareth Bale’s situation at Real Madrid - which is one of current unrest - with great interest.

Ideal option

In theory a return to Sporting would probably be what’s best for Nani. Not only do the Portuguese giants rate him highly as a player and have a good relationship with him from his early days there, but an extended spell in less harsh surroundings than the Premier League might be what’s needed to rebuild his confidence.

After all the winger looked bereft of all the vigour Sir Alex Ferguson must have seen in him by the time he left last summer, and to predict he’ll return and be a changed man is dangerous.

United fans, do you think Nani has a future at your club? Let us know what you think of him as a player in the comments box below.

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