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Zenit chased Nani, Moutinho

7 September 2012 18:01

Manchester United winger Nani and Joao Moutinho were in talks with Zenit St Petersburg on deadline day, the club's director general has said.

The reigning Russian champions still managed to make a big splash in the market before the window closed by completing a 100 million-euro combined double signing of Porto forward Hulk and Benfica midfielder Axel Witsel.

However, it has since emerged they also tried to make another double swoop, with the Portuguese pair of Nani and Moutinho pursued if the aforementioned move failed to materialise.

"We really have been negotiating Nani and Moutinho, but Hulk and Witsel were top priorities," Zenit chief Maxim Mitrofanov said.

"It must be understood that any transfer campaign is based on the list of players, ranked by priority."

Mitrofanov said a move was possible for the Manchester United man until they spoke to the player and realised that his salary expectations were beyond their resources.

"If Hulk had demanded eight million euros to 10 million euros a year, these conditions would have been unacceptable for Zenit," Mitrofanov said.

"The transfer of Nani failed mostly due to this reason, as he asked for an enormous salary and we would not pay him."

Nani has just two years remaining on his contract at Old Trafford, while Moutinho was reportedly just minutes away from completing a switch to Andre Villas-Boas' Tottenham before the window closed.

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