Thu, Aug 25, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Gunners agree to sell Nasri to rivals Manchester City

AFP, LONDON

Arsenal said on Tuesday they have agreed to sell France international midfielder Samir Nasri to Premier League rivals Manchester City.

In a statement on their Web site, the Gunners said: “Arsenal can confirm that they have agreed terms for Samir Nasri to move to Manchester City.”

Nasri, who featured in Arsenal’s weekend home loss to Liverpool, had been angling for a move to Eastlands for weeks after big-spending City dangled a significant wage rise and the Londoners reluctantly agreed to do business as he is out of contract at the end of the season.

Arsenal allowed Nasri, 24, to travel to Manchester for a medical, meaning he would not feature in the Gunners’ crucial Champions League playoff second leg at Udinese yesterday.

“The move will be subject to Nasri passing a medical and formal registration processes,” Arsenal said.

Nasri spent three years with Arsenal after joining from Olympique de Marseille.

His departure is a further blow for Gunners coach Arsene Wenger, who has already lost captain Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona, and who now has to deal with a number of injuries and suspensions.

“The summer was very difficult because we had Cesc Fabregas and Nasri on permanent transfer negotiations and that is draining in the end,” Wenger told BBC Sport. “We lost two great players and that’s a sad side of the story, but at some stage it has to be over, because you want to focus on the future.”

Wenger also faces a two-match touchline ban from UEFA after he was charged with breaking the terms of a one-match ban during the first leg against Udinese.

The Frenchman has appealed the ban and he was free to take his place in the dugout against the Italians after UEFA stayed his two-match ban, meaning the suspension does not take immediate effect while the governing body’s Control and Disciplinary Committee assesses the merits of the appeal.

Wenger is also under pressure in the league where two matches have brought one point and zero goals to date, after the Liverpool loss followed an opening draw with Newcastle United.

Nasri’s move is also bound to be seen as further evidence of the shift in power from Arsenal, without a major trophy since 2005, to City, who ended a 35-year wait for significant silverware by winning the FA Cup last season.

That campaign also saw City leapfrog Arsenal into third place in the Premier League and automatic qualification for the Champions League group stages.

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