Why Monaco Move for Manchester United Winger Nani Won't Pay off in Ligue 1 Title

Jonathan Johnson@@Jon_LeGossipFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 05:  Nani of Manchester United celebrates after Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid scored an own goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second leg match between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford on March 5, 2013 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Not content with having spent over 100 million Euros signing the likes of Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez, Joao Moutinho, Ricardo Carvalho and Eric Abidal, Monaco are currently being linked with a move for Manchester United’s Portuguese international Nani (h/t ESPN FC).

After strengthening significantly all across the board, Les Monegasques are looking for a player capable of providing consistent service for Falcao as well as chipping in with a few goals.

The 26-year-old can do that. But the question is whether he wants to. 

Nani is very much a mood player, great when confident and in-form, completely anonymous when he doesn’t fancy it.

It is because of this enraging inconsistency that he became the fourth least used player in the Manchester United team under Sir Alex Ferguson last season, a list that includes long-term absentee Darren Fletcher. 

The Portuguese international is a talented, creative player with an eye for the flamboyant, perfect in many ways for a side like Monaco who want to develop into a big club in a short space of time. 

However, Monaco are not just after a player who will help them develop into a big club as fast as possible.

They are building a side capable of challenging current champions Paris Saint-Germain for the Ligue 1 title, if not immediately then the season after that.

Nani’s experience, both in terms of domestic and European football, would benefit the side there is no doubt about that.

But for a start, Monaco do not have immediate Champions League football next season.

Instead, they will have to take domestic cups and the league seriously in order to progress and earn a place among Europe’s elite for the following season 

Le Championnat is a notoriously difficult competition to win, but the opponents are far from exciting at times and are often difficult for the biggest of names to take entirely seriously. 

Take PSG for example, they have invested heavily over the first two years of Qatar Sports Investments ownership and they still only managed to win the Ligue 1 title after the second season of heavy spending.

Put simply, the French league is one where you have to be fully focused, consistent and highly motivated to succeed.

Therein lies the rub. 

All of the aforementioned character traits are not necessarily ones that you would associate Nani with immediately. 

Because of that, the chances of the Portuguese actually succeeding in Ligue 1 with any team, let along Monaco, are low.

Plenty of top talents come and go in France, but even the best ones sometimes struggle for consistency.

Nani is currently struggling to rediscover his best form at Old Trafford and has seen his name linked with moves to the likes of Russian juggernaut Anzhi Makhachkala (h/t ESPN FC).

Since his red card against Real Madrid in the Champions League back in March though, the former Sporting Clube du Portugal man has seen himself frozen out of the first team picture to the point where an exit is now inevitable (h/t ESPN FC). 

However, the principality outfit are not necessarily the right fit for him just because of a large Portuguese-speaking contingent.

Despite the reportedly imminent arrival of Hulk at the Stade Louis II (h/t Metro), the chances of Nani proving a long-term success at this stage are not certain.

Claudio Ranieri’s side are building a strong squad for the future as well as for an immediate title challenge.

To do so, they need serious, focused players to lend credibility to the project and to create an atmosphere of professionalism. 

Nani does not provide that consistently so as a result, Monaco are better off taking their millions elsewhere.


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