Could this Old Trafford star really wing his way to Emirates Stadium?
Arsenal are looking at a bold January swoop for Manchester United and Portugal winger Nani.
The 26-year-old is out of favour at Old Trafford after a bust-up with Sir Alex Ferguson and an impasse over a contract extension, while Wenger looks to bolster his squad for the Champions League and Premier League run-in.
Nani believes his relationship with Ferguson is beyond repair and has privately conceded his future is elsewhere, but United have not totally shut the door on the player, whose contract expires in 2014.
The winger, who missed Sunday’s Manchester derby through injury, had a bust-up with promising United midfielder Davide Petrucci earlier this season. He has not played since he was hauled off during the Champions League match at Braga in early November.
Arsenal’s perpetual injury worries have left them short in wide positions this season, with Theo Walcott, Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamblerlain and Lukas Podolski all suffering muscle complaints at some point.
Without pace in the side, Arsenal’s play can be rather predictable – “they literally passed themselves to death,” said Jamie Redknapp, probably.
In an attempt to avoid mass suicide then, Arsene Wenger is apparently lining up Manchester United winger Nani, forgetting that the Portugal star’s polarising play could prompt Mexican waves of eye-rolling.
Nani is the sublime and the ridiculous.
The 26 year-old would certainly frustrate Arsenal fans often if he arrived, and his propensity to go to ground at the slightest touch and drift in and out of games could see the sensitive Emirates Stadium crowd turn on him as they did with Emmanuel Eboue.
However, Nani is a very direct player – he has a trick or two up his sleeve, shoots with impressive power, and has a very nice habit of scoring with subtle chip finishes – an asset missed by the Gunners since Carlos Vela left.
As unlikely as this transfer deal sounds, he could still be a reasonable signing for Arsenal.
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