Nani lifts lid on Man Utd exit & how Red Devils blocked Juventus move at last minute

Posted Friday, January 03, 2020 by

Nani lifts lid on Man Utd exit & how Red Devils blocked Juventus move at last minute

The winger has explained how he came close to leaving the club for Turin before signing a new contract and eventually being offloaded to Sporting

Nani has gone into detail about his acrimonious exit from Manchester United, revealing that the Red Devils initially stopped him from leaving as he closed in on a switch to Juventus.

The Portuguese would eventually be moved on to Sporting C.P. in a loan deal back in 2014, a little over a year after he had signed a new contract with the club that was due to take him through to 2018.

And the Orlando City winger has explained how he wanted to quit the club after Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013, with his mind having been made up that he wanted out after being benched for the 2011 Champions League final.

He told Tribuna Expresso: "The Sporting move happened after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where I returned to Manchester and there was a change of coach. It was Louis van Gaal. The year before we had changed too, it was [David] Moyes.

"When Ferguson left, I also wanted to leave. I thought it was the right time because things had happened that had not made me happy."

When asked for a specific example, Nani added: "The Champions League final - I thought I should have played as a starter in a year in which I had featured all season long.

"I was the best player in the team, had been in great form and when the decisive moment came, which was to play the Champions League final, they didn't opt ​​for me and left me on the bench.

"That struck me. I thought I should try to find another club, in another league maybe. It was fixed in my head. But it wasn't easy, Manchester United weren't going to let me go anywhere that easily.

"Unfortunately I had an injury after signing [the new contract with Manchester United in 2013] and I knew I had no chance of going to any other club. A thousand and one proposals came in for me but the club thought that by renewing my contract it was all settled. I said 'okay'."

Expanding on what went wrong for him at Old Trafford, Nani added: "There was a preference for other players. The kids started playing. There was no logic to it, even my colleagues said it was not right. From 100 I went to 0? You give out a five-million-pound contract and then you don't use the player, what's up?

"When I say five million it's a figure of speech, I didn't get to those figures. After a while, I thought that by them doing that to me, I really did have to leave.

Nani lifts lid on Man Utd exit & how Red Devils blocked Juventus move at last minute

"When I recovered [from a leg injury in 2013] I was going to Juventus, everything was alive, Juventus wanted me. The director said 'yes', the coach said 'yes'. And at the last minute, at the last second, when the market closes, they said: 'No, we don't want that anymore, we won't let Nani leave'.

"I asked why. 'No, you're staying here, you're not going'. I got upset, we argued. But when I realised I was staying I spoke to the director and said to him: 'I am here this year, I will do my best, you showed that I am valuable, thank you very much. I'm upset by the way it was done, you left it until the last second, but I appreciate your attitude in wanting to keep me because it means I'm important to the club'.

"The following year there was a change with Van Gaal arriving. In a quiet conversation with him he said he had no time or patience and that he needed to make a change. That was exactly what happened and then there was an opportunity and I went to Sporting."

That seemingly did not stop Van Gaal making a final attempt to change Nani's mind, however, with the 33-year-old claiming that the Dutchman tried to get him to remain at Old Trafford prior to his switch to Sporting.

"He told me that he was counting on me, that he knew my qualities, that I was an asset. But I explained my situation to him," Nani added.

"I recovered from injury and after some training sessions he started to see me getting my quality back and called me: 'Are you sure you really want to go? You can see we need you'.

"I said: 'No, the decision is already made, we had already spoken hadn't we?' 'Yes, yes, it was just to see if you were really sure'. And I came to Sporting."

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