Former Manchester United forward Nani has been inching ever closer to a move to Valencia this summer; however, the Portuguese international may end up joining another ex-United striker, Mark Hughes, at Stoke.
Numerous reports, including in The Guardian and Sunday Mirror, suggest that despite Valencia being heavy favourites to signing the forward, Stoke boss Hughes will look to strike a late deal for the Fenerbahce forward and bring him to the Britannia stadium.
Hughes is keen on the Portuguese winger and believes he can tempt him to join his Premier League outfit, as he has done in recent years with the high-profile signings of Xherdan Shaqiri, Giannelli Imbula and Bojan.
Nani scored 40 goals in 229 appearances for United following his 2007 move from Sporting Lisbon, helping them to win four Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League. His eight-year spell at Old Trafford ended last year after then-manager Louis Van Gaal sold him to Fenerbahce for a measly £4.25 million.
The Portuguese winger is enjoying a resurgence in form at present, a solid season at Fenerbahce has been followed by impressive showings at Euro 2016. Several sterling performances and two goals have helped Portugal make it as far as the semi-finals of the competition, where Wales await.
Nani would be a ridiculously good signing, and for Bowen to come out and say we want him, is out of character unless positive outlook #SCFC
— Mozz (@Mozzaa92) July 4, 2016
Stoke, for their part, are keen to add quality to their squad as they look to improve upon a ninth-place finish last season. Hughes had been targeting Nathan Redmond before his move to Southampton and sees Nani as the perfect replacement. The Welshman is said to be hopeful of scuppering Valencia’s deal.
Nani is set to play in Wednesday’s Euro 2016 semi-final in Lyon though, so any deal for the forward may have to wait until after the game.
Steven Parkhill, Pundit Arena