• Premier League

Manchester United's Van Gaal gives Nani silent treatment

ESPN staff
February 26, 2015
Louis van Gaal has had it easy compared to David Moyes

Nani has revealed Louis van Gaal has not spoken to him during his loan spell at Sporting Lisbon.

The winger, who hopes he can resurrect his Manchester United career next season, has been in fine form since he returned to his first club.

But the Portugal international, who scored a spectacular long-range goal against Gil Vicente on Sunday, said he has not heard from manager Van Gaal.

"No," he told the Daily Mail. "I receive some texts from [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward. He texted me about the goal and the great season I am having here."

Crying game

Nani got emotional last weekend © Getty Images
  • Nani insists the only reason he was reduced to tears after scoring a spectacular long-range effort for Sporting Lisbon against Gil Vicente last Sunday was because it marked a return to form.
  • Images of his crying moment went viral on social media but the winger's explanation failed to justify the fuss. "The game before against Wolfsburg I couldn't do my best," Nani said.
  • "I ended the game wishing I could have done more. I prepared myself to do my best and after the goal I thanked God who helped me be my best."

Nani made 229 appearances in seven years at Old Trafford and played in Van Gaal's first competitive game in charge, August's 2-1 defeat to Swansea.

But Van Gaal has rarely operated with wingers for United and Nani, who was a bit-part player in the two previous seasons, wanted first-team football and went back to Sporting for the season as part of the deal that took Marcos Rojo to Old Trafford.

"I knew with the new manager it would be more difficult because of the new system and my position in it,' he said.

"I knew it would be hard to play. I decided to go to Sporting because it was an opportunity to come home, feel comfortable, get games and feel strong again."

Nani signed a new United deal in 2013 and is under contract until 2018. He has been optimistic about a return and is adamant the club still has a place in his heart.

"At the moment I just focus on my job here," he said. "I'll do my best and get in the best condition I can, then come back as strong as possible and see what the manager or the club want from me.

"I love United. I love the club. The only decision I made to go away was to play more and be me again because I lost a lot of things there last season because of injuries and the change of the manager. The new manager didn't know me well and a lot of things changed. I needed to play regularly to be happy.

"You never know the future. It depends on a lot of things. If United want me to stay then, with a different mentality, I think we can work well next season but it's a lot of things to discuss and see."

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