Manchester United winger Nani has raised question marks over his future with talk of a possible move away from Old Trafford – if the current contract negotiations do not end amicably.
With two years remaining on his current deal the matter is not a pressing concern at present, and it would appear that negotiations are running relatively smoothly: “we have presented a counter offer and now we are waiting on an offer from the club”.
Along with this hint that there are only minor hiccups in the negotiations, Nani declared he was ‘very happy’: so why would he also suggest that he may leave the club in the near future?
Improve his contract
One potential cause, as with Benzema in recent weeks, is that the announcement was merely an attempt to gain leverage in the negotiations. By quietly reminding the club (via an interview far removed from England) that you have other options, the club are more likely to yield to his “counter-offer” demands.
Not only this, but if he really does see his future at another club in a couple of years, then a hefty contract will be needed for United to receive a transfer fee for his services. Retrieving the £25 million they paid for the winger is essential.
This tactic is used repeatedly by players and their agents, and only three weeks into the transfer window, it is already becoming tiresome. Many newspapers are happy to go along with a news story such as this one, despite being aware that the entire story is based on a tedious untruth in order to gain psychological ground in contract talks. ‘Nani to leave United’ sells papers: why would they question the likelihood of this actuality?
Nani IS thinking of leaving
In this instance, there is a small twist, and there may be some semblance of truth in the tale. Nani said that “football is not only about England and Spain”. He may of course have been referring to France, Italy or Germany, or may have meant even further afield in highly paying leagues such as China or USA.
The fear for United is that, although nobody from England or Spain (that can match United’s offer) are likely to want Nani, there are plenty of clubs that could give him a ludicrous deal, particularly if Nani believes he has already achieved everything he wanted from top level football: “I have had five seasons at Manchester United and won all the titles“.
Even more likely than this, is that Nani is referring to the floating rumours that PSG are interested in his signature. With their money and European ambition, they would not be an unattractive option for the winger, if he really is restless and in want of a new challenge.
Nani’s options are many, and his stock couldn’t be much higher. Gossip has circulated about his departure for a while now, and there may well be some truth in it, perhaps a year or two down the line. The problem is, these comments have come in the middle of contract negotiations with his club, and as such must be taken with a pinch of salt.
United fans can rest easy – for now.
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