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Nani set for Manchester United stay

By Duncan Castles

David Moyes will keep hold of Nani at Manchester United after convincing the winger that his future lies at Old Trafford, Goal can reveal.

The 26-year-old has been told that the new manager regards him as central to his plans for United's first team and will underline that importance with a lucrative contract extension.

While the exact details of Nani's new deal have still to be clarified, the winger is said to be delighted with Moyes' commitment to offer him more playing time following an injury-hampered campaign in which he made just 10 Premier League appearances last term, the lowest total of his six seasons as a United player.

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Nani was deeply frustrated with both his lack of playing time last season as well as what the wide man perceived as Sir Alex Ferguson's lack of trust in him, telling friends that he did not want to see out the final year of his Old Trafford contract.

Goal's special report back in March revealed that Nani was part of a group of players, including Antonio Valencia, Chicharito, Anderson and Anders Lindegaard, who then manager Sir Alex Ferguson was prepared to offload while Galatasaray were known admirers before giving up their pursuit after a failed £6 million bid.

Within the Premier League, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City all explored the possibility of a transfer. In France, both Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco wanted to sign him, and there have also been further offers from Serie A and continued interest from Zenit St Petersburg, who were ready to invest €40m in a transfer a year ago only for United to refuse to sell.

Convincing Nani to re-commit himself to United represents a major coup for Moyes, albeit it one that risks some initial criticism.

It is often forgotten that Nani's team-mates voted him Players' Player of the Year two seasons ago following a campaign in which he set up more Premier League goals than anyone else in the division, and scored nine himself. Still in his mid-20s, there is scope for him to develop into an even more decisive individual.

Nani was prevented from flying to Asia and Australia for the first leg of United's pre-season tour by the after-effects of a nose operation. He is due to begin training under Moyes this week.

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