For starters, both Goal.com and Sky Sports put up identical versions of the news release, and Atletico Madrid was pointedly mentioned as holding an interest in Nani.
From what I remember, AM have not been as interested as Manchester United (and certainly not for this long).
There’s also a complete absence of quotes, nor is there any mention on the Sporting club website either.
So apparently, now, without any quotes or statements from the club / player, everyone’s under the assumption that the player has a buyout clause of 20m and now Manchester United will have to pay Sporting that much.
Are Manchester United interested in Nani? Of course. Are they going to pay 20m? No way. Like RR says, maybe for Ribery but not for Nani.
Here’s what I think happened:
Nani’s agent – or possibly a club official – talked to the press about a possible deal for Nani that bound him to the club till 2013 and put a 20m buy-out clause in his contract. The Spanish or Portuguese press ran with it, and a few days later it’s accepted as common truth.
I could be grasping at straws here, I know. But when players sign contracts there’s usually a press mention of the event, something with quotes, etc as well as a mention on the club site.
Nothing here in this case.
So should Manchester United fans be worried? Sporting obviously want to keep Nani for as long as they can, and if he really has such a contract (or if he ends up signing it), then we can probably write him off and focus on Ribery / Pedersen.