Sir Alex Ferguson is hopeful that Manchester United midfielder Nani will remain at the club and sign a new deal this season.

The Portuguese winger is yet to sign the offered contract extension and with his current deal expiring in 18 months time, clubs are preparing to snap him up.

Arsenal and Juventus were expected to make a January move for the injured midfielder but Ferguson’s desire to keep him will be a huge obstacle for the pair.

Nani is rated at £10million by other clubs and if he continues his refusal to sign a new deal at Old Trafford, Sir Alex may have no option but to cash in.

The 26 year old seemed to be a forgotten man in the red half of Manchester as Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia continue to impress but Ferguson has given the winger a chance to return after injury and become a key player once again at Old Trafford.

“Nani’s contract isn’t up until the end of next season – and we need him,” Ferguson told the Daily Mirror.

“He offers something different from the other players we have. He’s got an incredible talent, but, ­unfortunately, he’s been injured.

“We have sent Nani over to Dubai for a break in the hope that it will help him with his recovery.

“I don’t think we will have him back until the middle of January. He’s never had a hamstring injury before and this is a bad one.

“But Nani has got a future here. Why would I want to let him go?”

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