Defiant Arsenal: Nasri is NOT for sale
Published 23:01 05/07/11 By John Cross - EXCLUSIVE
Arsene Wenger will play hardball with Samir Nasri and tell the unsettled midfielder he is going nowhere.
France midfielder Nasri has become a target for both Manchester United, Manchester City and Inter Milan after stalling on a new £90,000-a-week contract offer.
The 24-year-old, who has one year left on his current deal, has made it clear he wants Arsenal to prove their ambition before he commits himself to the club, so could be ready to be the next big name to quit.
City have already made an enquiry, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is keen and agents are trying to broker a deal.
It has all left Arsenal with a major dilemma - whether to sell this summer or risk losing him for nothing next year.
But the club have now told Nasri’s representatives that he is NOT for sale.
It is believed even £25m may not be enough to land the Frenchman, who returns to training tomorrow (Thursday).
Clearly, Wenger and the Arsenal board recognise that losing Nasri on top of the departures of Gael Clichy, who was sold to Manchester City on Monday, and Barcelona-bound Cesc Fabregas would be seen as a huge own goal by the Gunners' fed-up fans.
Wenger is also convinced that a combination of a new contract, new signings such as Lille forward Gervinho and a promise of a more central role next season after Fabregas’ departure will be enough to persuade Nasri to stay.
Fabregas was at the Arsenal training ground yesterday, but only worked in the gym with his personal trainer Juan Ferrando.
Wenger was not at training on Tuesday but is expected to appear today as Arsenal and Barcelona continue trying to thrash out a deal for the Spanish midfielder.
Arsenal are holding out for £40m but know that Fabregas is only interested in going to Barca, whose second offer was just £34m.
Fabregas has been used in Arsenal’s pre-tour publicity on the club’s website for their trip to the Far East, which is likely to become another own goal as he is hoping to complete his move by the weekend and is unlikely to be fit if he doesn't.
Arsenal are hoping to clinch the Gervinho deal and want Gary Cahill and Alex Chamberlain. They like Jose Enrique too, but need to offload unwanted members of the squad to balance the books.