Manchester United are set to dispense with Nani in the January transfer window and use the funds they receive in their pursuit of Porto’s James Rodriguez and Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Portuguese winger Nani has been the subject of fervent speculation about an exit from Old Trafford having failed to sign a new contract to keep him at the club beyond the summer of 2014. The 25-year-old was thought to be close to joining Zenit St Petersburg in the summer and of late has been linked with potential moves to both Juventus and Arsenal. The Manchester Evening News reports that United could recoup £20 million from the sale.
Rodriguez has been reported as a potential replacement for Nani and there is even the possibility that United could use the unsettled former Sporting Lisbon man as a makeweight in any deal for the highly-rated Colombia international.
United are believed to have scouted Rodriguez, who has been a prolific scorer from the flanks in the past 18 months, on several occasions. Ferguson recently joked about the high price Porto would likely charge for the 21-year-old and, with Rodriguez reportedly having a buyout clause approaching £40 million, he is unlikely to come cheap.
Wanyama is another player that is believed to have been a central target for United’s scouts in recent times. According to the Manchester Evening News, the club’s chief European scout Martin Ferguson watched the Kenyan in action in Celtic’s victory over Barcelona last month when Wanyama was on the scoresheet.
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Celtic boss Neil Lennon recently claimed that he values Wanyama at £25 million. However, having signed the 21-year-old from Belgian side Beerschot for just £900,000 in the summer of 2011, Celtic may be willing to accept an offer of around £10 million.
The signing of Wanyama is one that would likely excite a large percentage of United fans, as it would represent the first midfielder of his kind to arrive at Old Trafford since Owen Hargreaves joined over five years ago. Wanyama could well provide the dynamic, physical presence to compliment the playmaking skills of the likes of Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes and Tom Cleverley.
Despite the array of striking talent that Sir Alex Ferguson currently has at his disposal, United are still reported to maintain an interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski. The Poland international’s contract is due to expire in 18 months’ time and sources have claimed that United could tempt the Bundesliga outfit into cashing in on their star striker next summer.
Dortmund executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has admitted that if the 24-year-old fails to sign a new contract then the club would be left with a difficult decision in the summer.
"As often as I am talking to Robert, I do not have the impression he wants to leave us,” he told German publication Bild.
"We will have to make decisions in this case at the end of the season. We may decide on economical factors.
"Would it be best to cash in a big fee? Or would it be even better to keep Lewandowski to ensure we are more likely to qualify for the Champions League with him in our side, as this would guarantee us big income?
"It's a decision we will have to take. It's our decision. It's not something to be decided by others."