Nani Sporting Lisbon
Nani could make his stay at Sporting Lisbon permanent if it helps Manchester United sign William CarvalhoReuters

Manchester United  are ready to use Nani as a makeweight in a deal which could bring the highly-rated William Carvalho to Old Trafford in the January transfer window.

Nani is currently on loan at Sporting Lisbon, with the winger moving to his former club as part of the deal which brought Marcos Rojo to Manchester United last summer.

With Manchester United already making several acquisitions in the attacking department – and Louis Van Gaal is thought to be interested in making more – Nani's future could lie outside the English Premier League giants.

The Portugal international still has plenty of time left in his lucrative new contract, but Manchester United are ready to let Nani leave to Sporting on a permanent transfer if it helps pave the way for Cavalho's switch, according to the Daily Express, who cite reports in Portugal.

With Nani rated at around the £10-12 million mark and Carvalho set to cost anywhere between £25-40 million, Manchester United will have to fork out some cash along with Nani to ink the transfer.

Money should not be a problem for Manchester United, however, with one of the main questions being if Van Gaal is interested in signing Carvalho.

Manchester United were the frontrunners for Carvalho's signature when David Moyes was in charge, but the interest has cooled since then with Arsenal  jumping in front of the queue for the highly-rated defensive midfielder.

Van Gaal has been heavily linked with Kevin Strootman, a player he personally knows and rates pretty highly. Indeed a close confidante of Van Gaal recently revealed Strootman and his fellow Dutchman had "shook hands" on a deal which will bring him to Manchester United, with the only question being whether it will be in the January transfer window or next summer.

However, if Roma continue to remain firm on not selling Strootman, there is little Manchester United can do, and then, maybe, Van Gaal can visit this possible swap deal involving Nani and Carvalho.

But then, with Nani on super-high wages at Manchester United, the deal will also depend on if the winger will be willing to take a pay cut in order to continue playing for Sporting, as the Portuguese club are unlikely to be able to afford the player's current salary.