The focus of the football world is Samir Nasri. The little mercurial midfield maestro, who was proclaimed the little Zidane is the centre of a massive tug of war.
Nasri has not signed a new contract, he says money is not the route of the dispute, Arsenal have offered £90,000 as week and Nasri wants in the region of £110,000 a week. If this is the reason then Arsenal should pay extra £20,000 a week (we make more than that in programme sales every home game). If however it is Nasri wanting to see who Arsenal bring in, then this will be a long and protracted saga.
There are four clubs showing an interest in Nasri, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Inter Milan. Nasri is in demand and holds most of the cards. Arsenal appear to have made it clear he will not be allowed to go cheaply, despite only a year left on his contract.
Manchester United were the first to proclaim an interest with it is reported representative of both sides having already met. Wenger however has gone on record stating he will not sell Nasri to United. This will strengthen United and make it harder for Arsenal to challenge for the title next season. Wenger is also hurting over the comments coming out of Old Trafford about Arsenal and our style of football and lack of trophies.
Manchester City were next on the scene. Arsenal are prepared to sell to City, knowing City will pay around £25M for Nasri. There are several players at City who could be thrown into the deal, namely Micah Richards. Richards is an Arsenal fan, a versatile defender and a player who would be ideal for Arsenal.
Chelsea today made an enquiry about Nasri, mentioning £22M. They also have players who they want to throw into the bargain. The only player worth considering is Florent Malouda. He is a strong, experienced player who scores and creates plenty of goals and would do a good job for Arsenal.
The final club are Inter Milan. Inter’s problem is money. They bought Ricardo Alvarez, supposedly an Arsenal target and that appears to be their transfer budget. Inter have several players that could interest Arsenal including Thiaggo Motta and Emiliano Viviano. To funds the Nasri deal, Inter will have to sell Sneijder to Manchester United. Wenger would prefer to sell to Inter as this will take Nasri away from the Premier League, however Wenger should be bold and offer cash plus Nasri for Sneijder. Arsenal should break the bank and offer the Dutch player £130,000 a week to lure him to the Emirates, that would be a best sign of intent Arsenal can show and it will infuriate Ferguson and all the Manchester United fans.
The final option is that Nasri will be convinced that with the arrival of Gervinho, hopefully Cahill and even Juan Mata that Arsenal are making the right signings that means we will seriously challenge next season.