Arsenal are in the process of unloading a few players and according to which rumour-mill you subscribe to, Samir Nasri is either off to Manchester United in a £20m move or heading to Italy to join Inter Milan for an as yet undisclosed fee. What’s more, rumours suggest that Gael Clichy is a transfer target for Liverpool who are hoping to snap him up for around £8-10m. So this latest story put in place by Sky Sports and built upon by Caughtoffside flies in the face of everything we’ve heard before.
According to these sources, Manchester City are set to sign Samir Nasri from the Gunners for £20m and are also in the process of agreeing a fee for Arsenal’s left-back Gael Clichy.
In truth however, this is the most unlikely rumour yet I’ve heard surrounding Arsenal’s two Frenchmen. It strikes me as incredibly unlikely that either player will end up at Eastlands this summer and there’s even less chance of both of them ending up City players.
After all, why would Arsene Wenger permit two talented players to move to a rival club? A rival club that has done much to establish themselves as a genuine threat to Arsenal’s continual presence in the top four.
Caughtoffside mention that there’s precedent in this area, but they somewhat miss the point. It’s true that just two years ago Manchester City plucked both Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor from Arsenal’s grip, but the circumstances were not the same. Inconsistency had begun to creep into Kolo Toure’s performances and Arsenal fans were already fed up of Adebayor. On the other hand, Gael Clichy remains a fairly decent left-back and Samir Nasri has had his best season yet in an Arsenal shirt.
Forget for a second that Samir Nasri has frustrated Arsenal fans with his attitude this summer – the Gunners will still be desperate to keep hold of their star wingman.
Arsene Wenger has repeatedly stated that he would refuse to permit his players to move to other Premier League sides. The fact that both Clichy and Nasri only have one year remaining on their Arsenal contracts will do little to persuade him otherwise. To sell either player to a top Premier League club could only be viewed as self-sabotage.
Of course, the story was run without providing any quotes or hard evidence that a deal is underway, or even that City have an interest in either player. For that reason and the reasons above it should be granted little credence. I expect both players to remain with Arsenal for at least another season.
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