Last updated : 01 June 2007 By Ed
Sporting chairman Soares Franco said his club were helpless to prevent Nani leaving as United offered enough to trigger a clause in his contract.

"Manchester United contacted us and said that they wanted to activate the clause - they wanted the player anyway,"

"The club (Sporting Lisbon) had the obligation to release the player and deal with Manchester United," said Franco.

"He (Nani) had another two years on his contract with a €20million (£13.5million) release clause. From the end of next season he would have cost half of that price.

"Nani has never been for sale. This is an agreement I have made with club supporters when I took charge.

"I felt he wanted to go. Nobody liked to see Nani leaving.

"But I am convinced Nani will have much success in the Premiership."