The Reds manager has worked hard on transforming Nani from a frustrating starlet into one of the Premier League’s top performers. That has alerted clubs from Italy and Spain, who are ready to pounce for the player who is out of contract in 2014.
Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus are all monitoring the 24-year-old, while he has also been linked with a move to Real Madrid – following in the footsteps of former United team-mate, Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, Ferguson sees Nani as a key figure at Old Trafford, along with Wayne Rooney, as the players he wants to build his last great team around.
He was quick to tie him down to a new long-term deal in March last year, despite him still having two years to run on his existing contract and with the jury still out on whether he would live up to his potential. Having been named United’s player of the year last season by his team-mates, he is now seen as one of the pivotal members of Ferguson’s squad.
United’s policy is to begin contract renegotiations within the last two years to 18 months on the player’s current deal, which see talks with Nani begin any time from next March. The biggest concern they have is that he will be ready for a new challenge, having moved to the Premier League in 2007 in a deal worth around £20m from Sporting Lisbon.
United’s board will not risk losing one of their most valuable assets for nothing, so if there is any indication from his representatives that he will not commit his future to the club, Ferguson will be forced to cash in. He could expect to command a fee in the region of £35m for a player still to hit his peak.
For his part, Nani will want to move more in line with United’s highest earners, Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. But perhaps more important will be assurances from Ferguson that he is key to his plans.Post published in: Football