Arsenal are to start pre-season this week, and although senior players Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri will report back to training at London Colney, it may not be long before the trio depart the Emirates. The Guardian report that the Spaniard is quietly confident of a move back to Barcelona in the near future, with the clubs negotiating a transfer fee. The Catalan club have offered £27million, but the English side are holding out for £35million.
The French duo are entering the last year of their contracts, and are widely expected to follow their captain in moving. Clichy is undergoing a medical at Eastlands today ahead of a £7 million move to Manchester City, which a deal expected be sown up in the next 48 hours.
With Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and City monitoring the situation, ex-Marseille midfielder Nasri has rejected a new £90,000 a week contract, but maintains his reasons for potentially moving are not financially motivated.
“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. We already earn huge wages. The priority is to make a big career and to win titles. This is more important than everything else,” he stated.
Gunners fans should not despair however, as deals for new players are in the offing also. Lille forward Gervinho is on the verge of joining for £11m, and has publicly stated his desire to move to Arsene Wenger’s team.
“I chose Arsenal because it’s a young group within which I will be able to integrate easily. I could develop more over there,” the Senegal international told France Football magazine.
“[Is it] a risk? Not at all. I’m going to Arsenal to play. The best risk to take is to look to score goals and to play a lot. 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,” he concluded.
Ricky Alvarez is another player in Arsenal’s cross hairs, but the Emirates team will face competition from Inter Milan for the Velez Sarsfield midfielder.