Contract talks have stalled with Samir Nasri, and now it's growing increasingly possible that Arsenal are prepared to finally move the midfielder to Manchester City.
Nasri, 24, only has one year left on his contract, and Arsene Wenger risks losing the French playmaker for nothing if he doesn't sign in the near future. Nasri has given indications that he wants to play for Manchester City, where he can make far more than Arsenal's £90,000-a-week offer, and where he might even stand a better chance of winning a title as opposed to staying at Emirates.
Arsenal are coming off a frustrating 2010-2011 season, and the summer transfer period has only netted one major signing, Gervinho, while Carl Jenkinson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain appear to be moves for the future rather than for the present. A player such as Nasri might not want to endure more of the same with Arsenal this season, and may see the benefit in a fresh start with a new club.
The Guardian reports that there is "acceptance" that Arsenal would be willing to accept an offer for Nasri at about £25 million. Arsenal can possibly turn around and gain a midfielder that would provide a much-needed boost to an attack that perhaps feels demoralized heading into the season.
Here are some possible replacements for Nasri:
Eden Hazard, Lille. Though Arsenal fans might feel exhausted about bringing in yet another young player after adding Jenkinson and Chamberlain, this 20-year-old Belgian winger might be too good to pass up. One of the most promising players in Europe, Hazard owns similar ball-control skills to Nasri, and appears to be faster and more creative. His estimated value is £20 million, which might be an enormous bargain considering his potential.
Juan Mata, Valencia. Almost one year younger than Nasri, Mata is ready to play in the Premier League and has given indications that he would want to do it in a Gunners uniform. An accomplished player for Valencia and Spain, Mata is seen as an overall solid player who can create well for his teammates, and is a legitimate threat to score. According to the Guardian, Arsenal ran into a complication with the expiration of Mata's £22 million buyout clause.
Wesley Sneijder, Inter. The prime target of Manchester United, Sneijder knows he's for sale but it's not a done deal that he's headed to Old Trafford. Arsenal fans fondly remember the days when Marc Overmars was in the midfield, and fellow Dutchman Sneijder owns similar skills to Overmars. Sneijder is in his prime and would seem to be a perfect fit at Emirates despite some past tension with Robin van Persie. However, van Persie once noted how Sneijder's style fits quite well with Arsenal's attack. The 27-year-old is valued at about £35 million, and it would be a great victory for Wenger to sweep in and take Sneijder away from Sir Alex Ferguson.
Nasri bolting from Emirates is certainly no done deal. However, it would be wise for Wenger to consider that Arsenal might be better off without him, and should get something in return for their high-profile playmaker.