Arsenal will have Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri returning to London for pre-season training, though it is likely to be a brief stay. Fabregas and Nasri are expected to inform Gunners manager Arsene Wenger that they want to leave the London club in what promises to be awkward conversations.
Skipper Fabregas is amongst a host of players returning for pre-season training on Tuesday. He has opted to not ruin his reputation at the Emirates by refusing to return to training, despite a likely deal to Barcelona expected to be completed by the end of the week. The Catalans have offered £35 million, and it is believed that Arsenal have accepted the end of their captain's long-standing transfer saga.
Arsenal will depart for a tour of Malaysia and China on Sunday and Fabregas will hope a deal is completed by then.
Nasri will return to training on Thursday as he was one of the few players who were involved with international duty at the end of last season. However, his situation is uncertain. The 24-year-old, who is into his last 12 months of his contract, refused an five-year extension with £90,000 per-week in wages and was quoted over the weekend as stating that his motivation was to win trophies and not financial.
He said, I don't want to sign for a club where I wouldn't be playing the football that I like, where I wouldn't feel happy, just for the money, he said. We already earn huge wages. The priority is to make a big career and to win titles. This is more important than everything else.
Manchester United are a likely destination for the Frenchman, but according to the Daily Mail, United's neighbours Manchester City are prepared to offer £27 million for a double-coop of Nasri and left-back Gael Clichy.
The report said that City are set to seal a £7m deal for Clichy while Arsenal will find it hard to reject £20 million for Nasri, who has less than a year remaining in his contract. Clichy is said to have underwent a medical at City on Monday and will be the first big player to move away from Arsenal this season.
Despite Manchester United and Chelsea also interested in Nari, Wenger will set about buying a replacement who, reportedly, is Marseille's Mathieu Valbuena. His agent Christophe Hutteau refused to comment on the matter, which naturally fuelled speculation. He said, I don't really wish to comment on this matter. All I can say at the moment is that Mathieu Valbuena is still under contract with Marseille. He will resume squad training tomorrow.
Though Wenger is not keen on selling Nasri to a Premiership-rival, Nasri is believed to be keen on a move to champions Manchester United.
Elsewhere, the rumours linking Gervinho, Gary Cahill, Christopher Samba, Ricardo Alvarez and Juan Mata continues. Lille striker Gervinho has already chosen Arsenal and revealed why he did so, saying I chose Arsenal because it's a young group within which I will be able to integrate easily. A risk? Not at all. I'm going to Arsenal to play.
In football you have to take risks if you want to win. I'm going to Arsenal to win. I'm going there to play, not to be on the bench. Arsenal love the game and I love teams that love the game.
The Premier League is a notch above. It's maybe the best league in the world. I want to live that sensation
The Telegraph reports that Arsenal on the verge of recruiting Barcelona academy player Hector Bellerin who is a 16-year-old full-back, and that Portuguese side Benefica are interested in Nicklas Bendtner, for whom Arsenal rejected a bid from Borrusia Dortmund.
Interestingly, the Daily Mirror reports that Wenger is lining up a £12million bid to bring Wolves striker Kevin Doyle to the Emirates as he is believed to be a fan of the Irish international and wants him to lead a new-look Gunners team that will have a British spine.
Arsenal are also linked with Manchester City second-keeper Shay Given after the Gunners failed to lure Maarten Stekelenberg, according to a report in Footybunker.com which read, Whilst it will be a blow to Wenger on losing out on the Holland international, the side still believe they need experience between the goal posts and with Given definitely available this summer, it would seem and obvious choice. The age of goalkeepers these days is not considered old unless they are in their forties and with Given only just having turned 35, it would appear he still has some very good years ahead of him.