If there is one team that everyone is certain will try and make a change during the January transfer window it’s Arsenal, fallen way behind in the title race and trailing in the Champions League chase. A new name each day comes up, this time adding Nani from Manchester United to the list, with the winger clearly on his way out of Old Trafford.
After an up and down start to his career under Alex Ferguson, the 2010-2011 season looked like a turning point for the Portuguese winger, scoring nine goals, being very influential in United’s Premier League title run. The next season started the same way, but Nani, who did score 8 goals in 2011-2012, began disappointing with his inconsistent play.
This season? Bad on the pitch, a menace off of it, obviously changed by the contract situation at the club. Ferguson has been using him sparingly over the season so far, but Nani has yet to give him a decent performance. He’s asking for a raise from £90,000 to £130,000, and allegedly blocked a transfer to Zenti by raising his demands from the Russian club at the final moment, demanding £180,000 a week. Nani is either advised by some stubborn men or simply doesn’t care about not playing for a very long time before he finds a new club.
Arsenal might be the answer, although with all their talk about a wage structure and not willing to give Theo Walcott the kind of raise he’s been looking for (from £80,000 to about £110,000 per week) it’s hard to see them breaking the rules for Nani. By the way, both Lukas Podolski and Andrei Arshavin make more than £90,000 a week.
Maybe because of the Walcott situation and a need for someone he can trust on the right wing (if Nani is reliable, which he is not according to some), the idea of making a £20 million offer for Nani is on the table. United purchased the player for £14 million and still believe they can make a profit from this one, although it isn’t exactly news that he isn’t the most popular figure these days at the training ground.
The pressures on Wenger to spend big in January, the need for someone to replace Theo Walcott who also might be leaving, and United’s desire to get rid of a player who is no longer a positive influence on and off the pitch might actually make this deal work, as unlikely as it sounds.