Nani Returns to Sporting


Photo: Sergio Santos

Photo: Sergio Santos

Nani

Manchester United to Sporting (loan)

Portugal National Team and Manchester United winger Nani has returned to his boyhood club, albeit on loan until the end of the season. Nani began his career at Sporting before moving to English giants Manchester United in the summer of 2007 after two impressive seasons in Portugal. A mixture of injuries and indifferent form has held Nani back recently, and the winger has not had a truly successful season since 2012. This move will surely help Nani’s chances at playing time.

This move may come as a bit of a surprise to those who haven’t been following it from the beginning. Nani was greatly out of favor with David Moyes, who took charge at Manchester United last season after club legend Sir Alex Ferguson retired. After Moyes’ subsequent sacking, Netherlands manager Louis Van Gaal took the reins for this season. Almost immediately, Van Gaal made it clear that Nani did not feature in the team’s plans, and that the winger should begin looking for a new club. Juventus, Milan, and Inter were all interested in bringing in Nani, but a move never materialized, likely due to Nani’s huge wage demands.

With Manchester United looking for a defender, they turned their eyes to Marcos Rojo, who enjoyed a stellar World Cup with Argentina. Once the English team made a bid, Sporting demanded that Nani be part of the deal. Manchester United accepted the deal, which sees Nani join Sporting on a season-long loan, with Marcos Rojo joining Manchester United for a fee of around 10 million euros. As part of the deal (possibly the most crucial bit), Manchester United will pay all of Nani’s wages during the loan, which is something that Sporting is financially incapable of doing.

And the funny thing is…Nani left Manchester United and will now be playing in the Champions League.

Bebe Signs for Benfica: A Flop or Not?


Bebe - Benfica

Bebe

Manchester United to Benfica

Benfica have announced today the signing of Manchester United’s Bebe on a four-season contract after drawn-out negotiations between the two clubs. This spells the end of the player’s time in England, a time that he surely does not look at fondly, having been labeled a “flop” at Manchester United. Bebe has already been pictured wearing Benfica’s jersey and will join up with the team shortly. This is Benfica’s second Portuguese signing of the summer, following the club’s announcement of Eliseu’s purchase yesterday.

Bebe has been labeled a “flop” almost ever since joining Manchester United from Vitoria Guimarares in 2010, and for somewhat good reason. The winger arrived at Old Trafford after Sir Alex Ferguson had been recommended him by scout Carlos Queiroz. In fact, as he later admitted, Ferguson had never actually seen Bebe play, but acted on the recommendation. Bebe was signed for an eye-watering 7.4 million pounds, an enormous sum for a player who had not yet played a game in the Portuguese top flight. The winger remained at Manchester United for the 2010-2011 season, despite rumors that he would leave on loan. Immediately demoted to the reserves, Bebe played the majority of the season in that category as he familiarized himself with the English style of play. As his play for the reserves improved, Bebe was given time with the first team, most notably scoring against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the League Cup and against Buraspor in the Champions League. All-in-all, it was a relatively successful first season for Bebe, though he couldn’t shake the label of “Ferguson’s flop.”

Since that time, Bebe has been loaned out to Besiktas, Rio Ave, and Pacos Ferreira. After an injury ridden time on loan at Besiktas, Bebe was loaned to Portuguese side Rio Ave for the 2012-2013 season, where he found playing time more easy to come by than at United. Following his promising loan to Rio Ave, another loan was arranged for him at Pacos Ferreira last season. At Pacos, Bebe saw time in both the Liga Zon Sagres and the Europa League, impressing especially in the Liga Zon Sagres. Despite Pacos narrowly escaping relegation, Bebe managed to score 12 goals in 27 times from the wing, finishing the season as the league’s top-scoring Portuguese player.

His label as a “flop” may be a bit premature. Still only 24, Bebe still has the best years of his career ahead of him. And with stars set to leave Benfica this season, space may open up for the winger, where he can truly show his skill-set. Jorge Jesus has a knack of getting the best out of players and developing raw talent, so this move may be exactly what Bebe needs.

 

Nani to Arsenal?


Nani

Nani

Manchester United to Arsenal?

Reports coming out of England recently have suggested that Manchester United outcast Nani could be on his way to Arsenal. It is common knowledge that Nani is on the way out of Manchester United, after yet another row with head coach Sir Alex Ferguson. The winger has been in bad form this season, but one must not forget his form last season. When in form, few will argue that Nani is one of the foremost wingers in the world. But being in form is a problem for Nani. In the last two seasons combined, the winger managed 28 assists in the Premier League alone. This season has not been so fortunate. Sir Alex Ferguson seems to be fed up with the winger once-and-for-all. News of spats between the two are not new, but recently, Ferguson has signaled that Nani’s time at Old Trafford may be up. Hearing this, a host of clubs were, and are, rumored to be tracking the winger. Among these are Juventus, Inter, Porto, Benfica, and now Arsenal. For articles concerning these rumors, visit our Transfer Rumors section.

Arsenal may be the most likely deal to go through as of right now. Soon after the Arsenal rumor hit the press, Sir Alex Ferguson hinted that he may be interested in acquiring the services of Theo Walcott, of Arsenal. Could a swap be in the pipeline? Surely, if these rumors are true, a swap would be the smartest move for both clubs. Nani could work wonders at The Emirates, while Walcott could fill the role as backup to Ashley Young and Valencia at United. The players are very similar. The main difference between the two is that Walcott is quicker, while Nani has a penchant for crossing and producing wonderful goals.

 

Portuguese Starlet Signs on with United


Sir Alex Ferguson has raised some eyebrows with his latest signing, Bébé, from Vitoria Guimaraes. The attacking midfielder/forward was completely unknown until Guimaraes signed him at the beginning of this transfer period from Portuguese Second Division side Estrela Amadora. Bebe grew up on the streets of Portugal, and was raised in an orphanage, where he nurtured his street soccer skills. He was invited to play at the 2009 European Street Football Festival, where he allegedly scored 40 goals in 6 games. He was soon after signed by Amadora, where he enjoyed a good amount of success. After Estrela Amadora failed to pay his wages, Vitoria Guimaraes signed him this summer on a free transfer and immediately slapped a 9-million euro release-clause. Throughout pre-season, Bebe scored five goals in six games for Guimaraes, alerting the big guns. Real Madrid came knocking, but Manchester United stepped in front after a tip from Portuguese National Team coach Carlos Queiroz to Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex also confirmed that Bebe will not be loaned out, but will instead stay at Old Trafford, learn English, and fight for a spot on the wing against the likes of Nani and Valencia.

So, you have it there. From the streets to Old Trafford. If there ever was such an inspiring story, this would be it. Bebe spoke of his dream transfer, saying: “It’s a dream come true” and “I am very happy. I had the dream of playing, one day, for a major club. That dream has come true,” he said. “Football can change lives, very much”