City planning another raid on Arsenal
Published 23:00 04/07/11 By John Cross
Manchester City want to follow up yesterday's £7million capture of Arsenal full-back Gael Clichy with one for his Gunners team-mate Samir Nasri.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger remains determined to try to persuade Nasri to stay and sign a new £90,000-a-week contract.
City, their Manchester rivals United and Italian giants Inter Milan are all keen on Nasri.
If Arsenal are forced to sell, then Wenger has made it clear that he wants to see the player move abroad rather than to one of his rivals for the Prdemier League's top four.
Nasri is not due back at pre-season training until Thursday as he - along with the Gunners' other France players and Russia's Andrey Arshavin - have been given an extended break.
Arsenal maintain they are hopeful of persuading Nasri with a combination of that new deal, the prospect of making him main man in midfield after Fabregas’ departure and also a statement of intent with several signings.
Wenger has already agreed a £12m deal for Lille striker Gervinho, who will be unveiled this week, while Bolton’s England defender Gary Cahill tops their list of centre-half candidates.
Newcastle’s left-back Jose Enrique is on the hit-list for replacements for Clichy while Valencia’s Spain winger Juan Mata, 24, is another target.
But Arsenal’s hopes of landing Argentinian Ricky Alvarez appear to be in the balance as Inter Milan have also come in for the Velez Sarsfield midfielder, who is set to make a decision this week.
Arsenal could also move for French midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, 26, who has rejected a new deal at Marseille and, with only a year left, could go for a cut-price £10m.
Wenger is also looking to offload players, but Arshavin’s future could now be put on hold until Fabregas and Nasri have their futures resolved.
Denilson is available while Nicklas Bendtner was at the training ground yesterday awaiting interest from Borussia Dortmund and Benfica to be followed up.
But another player who is available for transfer, Abou Diaby, may now be forced to stay for another year.
Diaby is injured and is likely to miss the start of the season and Arsenal will struggle to shift the £60,000-a-week midfielder in that condition.