Is Nani pondering a move away from Old Trafford?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Nani of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on April 22, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

It's the silly season. And that means it can be difficult to trudge through the plethora of rumors and speculation out there during the summer transfer window. When actual quotes are revealed, that's certainly something to consider but so is context and validity. With that in mind, quotes are emerging from a Nani interview with Portuguese television station RTP that suggests that the Manchester United winger is weighing his future options. The 25-year-old has spent five years at the club and he also has two years remaining on his current contract. However, it's been widely speculated for some time that he's intends to improve on that current deal and perhaps he feels he's in a position of leverage after his performances these past two seasons -- the 2010/2011 season was one that saw him voted Player of the Year by his teammates. Here is what Nani apparently said to RTP in a recent interview:

"I have had five seasons at Manchester United and have won all the titles. Now I am really happy but I don't know about my future. Now I will study opportunities. Football is not only about England or Spain. It is possible to enjoy success in other countries. My agent is waiting on news about United. We have presented a counter-offer and now we are waiting on an offer from the club. It was a great pain to miss the Premier League title in the final minutes of the match. City were incredible with their luck. I can only hope that this Euro Championship is my Euro, and I am working hard for that with Portugal. My challenge is to be the best, be the No1 and show that on the field. Myself and Cristiano make up two of the best wingers in the world and our statistics for our club show that."

- Nani | Source: RTP via a report by the Guardian

Nani has long been linked with Juventus -- the current Italian champions -- so perhaps his mention about England and Spain is in regards to this. The Portuguese certainly can divide opinion due to his flair -- and perhaps that brings about the perception of inconsistency of a player not always making optimal choices -- but only the illogical would argue that he's not a terrific player. However, he's been bypassed as first-choice in recent seasons for the run-in -- although few ever mention that ill-timed injuries have played a part in his dip in form at these moments -- and Antonio Valencia seems to be the favored man going forward on the right-flank. Although Nani's versatility allows him to flourish on either side, he also has competition from Ashley Young and Park Ji-sung on the left flank. In addition, Shinji Kagawa's likely arrival adds competition to the wide areas as well, despite the Japanese international's preference to play in behind a lead striker.

Personally, I'd love to keep Nani -- as would most of you if I had to guess. However, if the 25-year-old is not content with his situation, I also wouldn't be opposed to sell him for a (guess-estimated) fee in the region of £25-30 million because we have other suitable options. Two years remaining on his contract, as opposed to just one, would give United leverage when negotiating a transfer fee. Plus, it's quite clear we don't have the funds to splash £38m here (Hulk) and £32 there (Eden Hazard) for top-talent. However, the £32m talent was apparently on our radar so there perhaps are funds available for one big splash signing -- in addition to the expected £17m or so for the signing of Kagawa. A sale of Nani could perhaps open the door for a needed £35m-£40m signing of Luka Modric. Point being, if he's not content, we have other wing options and his sale could provide the means to obtain other needs. Like I said, I hope he stays -- but if he goes, it might not be a bad thing.

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