Nani hopeful of United return

Nani retains hope of returning to Manchester United's first team when his loan spell with Sporting Lisbon expires at the end of the season.

Nani has not given up hope of returning to the first-team fold at Manchester United despite being sent out on loan to Sporting Lisbon this season.

The winger's opportunities at Old Trafford were limited following the arrival of Louis van Gaal, but he has impressed at Sporting, scoring eight goals in 24 appearances.

While he is enjoying his football in the Primeira Liga, the Portugal international still longs to pull on the red of United again and strut his stuff in the Premier League.

"I love Manchester United," he told The Guardian. "The only decision I made was to play more and be me again, because I lost a lot of things there last season due to injuries and the change of 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 there are a lot of things to discuss and see."

Van Gaal has come in for criticism this season for the style of play he has adopted at United, despite the side sitting fourth in the table.

Nani, however, understands why performances have been inconsistent.

"I am not surprised [by their performances] because it's normal when a lot of things change," he added. 

"To compare with last season, we played a different system. We used to play very attacking football and we used to score a lot of goals. 

"Now we are more compact, more organised, but we are not scoring goals like we used to."