Everton are reportedly set to trigger the £6.4m release clause to sign ex-Manchester United star Nani, with a move to Goodison Park priced at 7/2.
They aren’t the only interested party, though, with fellow Merseyside giants Liverpool 8/1 to swoop for Nani, and Leicester City also eights to bring the man – and his famous backflip celebration – to the King Power Stadium.
The Portuguese winger failed to cement himself in the Red Devils’ attack following a £20m move from Sporting Lisbon and after seven mediocre years at Old Trafford was sent on his way, with a return this summer looking unlikely at 16/1.
The 29-year-old is enjoying a new lease of life as a regular starter at Fenerbahce and is keen to test himself once again in one of Europe’s top leagues.
Here’s a look at five reasons why the four-time Premier League winner would be a valuable asset for the Toffees, and in truth, for several of their rivals.
He’s capable of exciting the fans
It’s difficult to hog the spotlight in a team which won the Champions League and contained the likes of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo in their prime. However, then 21-year-old Portuguese winger Nani frequently did just that during his first season at Old Trafford.
From great solo goals like the strike against Middlesbrough, to wowing the Old Trafford faithful with fancy footwork, he produced memorable moments which could get the fans out of their seats – and he appears to have rediscovered that individual flair at his current club.
Everton would be buying a matured Nani
While the ex-Sporting Lisbon man’s dribbling ability and long-range finishing have rarely been in doubt, questions were regularly raised over his end product; especially during those latter seasons at Old Trafford.
However, the winger has netted seven times in 23 Super Lig games this season, as well as regularly assisting goals for club and country, playing a crucial part in Portugal’s qualification for Euro 2016.
More of an unselfish team player than at any prior point in his career, Nani is all the better for it.
He has Premier League experience
Having spent seven years on Manchester United’s books, featuring in no fewer than 147 Premier League games, the Portuguese could easily slot into a similarly experienced midfield setup, alongside the likes of Aaron Lennon, Gareth Barry and James McCarthy – all of who have played 200+ games in the division.
There is also no doubt that Nani possesses the ‘winning mentality’ needed to help take Everton to the next level. With a career haul of four Premier League titles, a Champions League medal, and domestic cup wins in England and Portugal, he’s still only 29 – and hungry to win more. And that experience of winning titles could help him inspire young Everton talents like Ross Barkley and John Stones.
Nani’s contract makes him reasonably priced
With a buyout clause of just £6.4m in his Fenerbahce contract, it’s unlikely that many other players with Nani’s pedigree and medal haul will be available for such a reasonable price.
Granted, the player has failed to quite fulfil the potential he showed early in his career, but on recent form, the price is a snip.
With Everton never the biggest spenders during transfer windows, Nani fits the value-for-money ethos the Merseyside club pride themselves on.
He wants a Premier League return to prove himself in England
Despite playing his part in a hugely successful Manchester United side, Nani was never a fan favourite at Old Trafford, with his decision making regularly called into question by the United faithful.
Reports suggest the player was disappointed to leave the Red Devils behind, and despite impressing in Turkey, Nani appears very keen on a return to English football.
Right now, Everton could get themselves a productive, successful playmaker with Premier League experience – all for £6.4m. Swooping for Nani is a no-brainer.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.