Football: Nani joins Fenerbahce from United for $9 million

Football: Nani joins Fenerbahce from United for $9 million
Manchester United’s former Portuguese midfielder Luis Nani (C) gestures as he arrives at the Sabiha Gokcen airport on July 5 2015 in Istanbul. Nani will sign a new contract on July 6 with Istanbul's Fenerbahce Football Club.
PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL - Portuguese star Nani on Monday joined Fenerbahce from Manchester United for six million euros (S$8.94 million) as the Istanbul giants seek to add a glittering array of foreign talent to their ranks ahead of the new season, the Turkish club said.

After last month's signing of Danish centre back Simon Kjaer, Fenerbahce are reportedly also pursuing Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.

Nani, 28, a United player since 2007, spent all of last season on loan at his former club Sporting Lisbon and was not expected to figure in manager Louis van Gaal's plans for this season.

The Cape Verde-born winger arrived at an Istanbul airport to a hero's welcome from Fenerbahce fans late on Sunday and underwent a successful medical Monday.

Fenerbahce said a three-year contract had been agreed with a transfer fee of six million euros ($6.6 million/£4.25 million).

"Agreement has been reached with the player himself and the club," Fenerbahce said in a statement.

A signing ceremony and news conference will be held at Fenerbahce's stadium on the Asian side of Istanbul later Monday.

In his eight years at Manchester United, Nani scored 41 times in 230 appearances.

Meanwhile, Nani's Manchester United teammate Robin van Persie, 31, whose 2014/2015 season was blighted by an ankle injury, could arrive in Istanbul as soon as Tuesday to agree terms with Fenerbahce, the Hurriyet daily reported.

However van Persie's manager Kees Vos was quoted as dousing the speculation in Dutch media, saying the player would be reporting for pre-season training with Manchester United as normal.

Turkish press reports have said that van Persie had been encouraged to join Fenerbahce by its former Dutch stars Dirk Kuyt, who left last season after becoming a firm crowd favourite, and Pierre van Hooijdonk.

Fenerbahce are looking to create an unbeatable line-up for the new season, after losing the Super Lig title to their eternal and bitter Istanbul rivals Galatasaray.

Galatasaray have themselves been active in the transfer market, notably signing German international Lukas Podolski from Arsenal on a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year.

Fenerbahce finished three points behind Galatasaray in the race for the Super Lig title and parted company with coach Ismail Kartal, replacing him with former Porto and Olympiacos Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira.

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