Sir Alex Ferguson is set to sanction the sale of out-of-favour Man United wide-man Nani to raise funds for the signings of Porto winger James Rodriguez and Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama.
Fergie has apparently grown tired of his underperforming winger and is looking to sell the Portuguese international for around £20m in January and bolster his midfield with two 21-year-olds.
Manchester Evening News is reporting that the Old Trafford boss is keen to replace Nani with Colombian starlet Rodriguez and also tie up a deal for Kenyan powerhouse Wanyama.
Nani is thought to be on the radar of Arsene Wenger as he plots his transfer market moves for crisis-club Arsenal, who could become the third player to move between the old enemies in five years.
Mikael Silvestre and Robin Van Persie have broken the wall of negotiation between the two club’s that stood since Viv Anderon’s switch from Arsenal to United in 1987.
Now it is no longer unthinkable that a player would make a move between Manchester and north London, and Nani being spotted at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground during recently only intensified rumours.
Fergie’s intention is to bring in FC Porto’s James Rodriguez – who has been dubbed ‘the South American Cristiano Ronaldo’.
The Scottish tactician is unlikely to agree to Rodriguez’s £36m release clause, but a bid in the region of what United receive for Nani could prove cause for consideration from the Portguese champions.
If Porto chairman Pinto da Costa has his way the club’s star player won’t be leaving any time soon, but the allure of Old Trafford to the former Banfield player may speed up a potential move.
“I will not let anyone leave,” Da Costa told Portuguese paper A Bola.
“If FC Porto is a title shot and is in the knockout round of the Champions League, why would I sell a player?”
United are also interested in plugging the gap their squad has in defensive midfield with Celtic’s impressive Victor Wanyama.
However Bhoys boss Neil Lennon will put up stiff competition for his Kenyan anchor man, having recently rated him as ‘world class’ and placed a £25m valuation on his head.
That figure would represent a monumental increase on the £900,000 Celtic paid AC Beershot a year ago for the powerful stopper, although the true amount looks likely to be somewhere in the middle.
Fergie watched Wanyama’s outstanding display during Celtic’s Champions League win over Barcelona last month, as he scored a goal at outshone the Catalan club’s lauded midfield.
Bringing in Rodriguez and Wanyama would boost the Premier League leaders title challenge, while Nani is seen as an expendable force at the north West outfit.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.