Reports emerged last night that two weeks ago, Manchester United submitted a formal bid of £20m for Samir Nasri. Today, Nasri is due back at London Colney, where he is widely expected to tell Arsene Wenger he wishes to leave Arsenal. With just twelve months to go on his contract, and the risk of losing him for free in twelve months, that £20m looks very tempting indeed.
I don’t want to lose Nasri. His form last season was outstanding. In an idea world, he would sign the £90,000 p/week contract on offer and stay. The reality, however, is that he can probably earn double that elsewhere. And, in his estimation, stand a better chance of winning trophies.
I don’t think there’s any point in keeping the player if he says he won’t sign a new deal. We’ll be left with a guy whose heart simply isn’t in it anymore, and furthermore we won’t make a penny pack on the £13m we shelled out for him in 2008.
He’s a good player but he’s far from irreplaceable, and with £20m+ in the bank we ought to be able to find someone of similar ability – the links to Valencia’s Juan Mata are strengthening daily. The prospect of him joining United will sicken both Arsene and the fans, so a move to Manchester City or indeed abroad would be preferable. However, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that I’d rather see £20m reinvested in a player who actually wants to be at Arsenal than make a point of principle by keeping Nasri against his will.
One player who won’t be replacing him is Ricky Alvarez. The Argentinian midfielder was close to agreeing a move to Arsenal, until Inter Milan swooped in with a late bid. Their Argentine contingent, plus the fact that Alvarez’ Italian grandfather was an Inter fan, swung the balance in favour of the Italians. From what I’ve read and seen the signing of Alvarez would’ve represented a big gamble at a time when we need established quality, so we shouldn’t shed too many tears.
According to just about every media outlet in Britain and France, Gervinho was over here for a medical yesterday and to discuss personal terms. An announcement on that deal should be imminent if he’s going to be on the plane to the Far East on Sunday.
Our only summer signing thus far, full-back Carl Jenkinson, has begun pre-season training, and will wear the number 25 shirt next season. Pictures of him and the rest of the squad in action are available here.
Look at that: a whole blog post and I haven’t mentioned Cesc Fabregas/Barcelona once.