French midfielder Samir Nasri and Spanish playmaker Cesc Fabregas have been left out of the Arsenal squad for the season opener on Saturday against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park.
The recent announcement is being looked at as a signal from Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger of the beginning of a season without the team’s most trusted midfielders, and could mean that an imminent departure of both the players very soon is on the cards.
Wenger, however, expects the future of Cesc Fabregas to be decided “very quickly” now. Previously it was thought that the Arsenal captain’s future would be determined by the start of the Premier League this weekend. Now both the players have been removed from the squad that will travel to St. James’ Park.
“That is completely the truth,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “We hope it will be sorted out very quickly one way or the other. We’ll know very quickly.”
“The Nasri situation is stable,” Wenger added. “Again it is very difficult to speak about possible transfers but we are in a situation where we have to make decisions one way or the other. Ideally you want it to be sorted out before the season starts.”
Both Fabregas and Nasri have dominated the transfer rumors since the last season. Fabregas has been linked with both Barcelona and AC Milan, while Nasri has been linked with Manchester United and Manchester City.
Gunners’ midfielders Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby have also been ruled out of the game due to injuries, but Englishman Theo Walcott and Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen have been declared fit for the game.
Dutch striker Robin Van Persie is set to captain the team once he passes a fitness test before the game, according to a goal.com report.