Samir Nasri has revealed he chose Manchester City over Manchester United because of the prospect of making history, but the lure of a huge pay packet certainly helped smooth the deal.
Nasri left Arsenal for City in the summer of 2011, and he has suggested in an interview with the Telegraph’s Henry Winter that City offered him three times the salary he was earning with the Gunners.
The move to City paid immediate dividends, as Nasri played a part in the club winning the Premier League title—on that unforgettable final day against Queens Park Rangers.
And it was helping City land their first title since 1968 that was the driving force behind him turning down United.
Expanding on his decision to join City, Nasri told Winter:
I really hesitated a long time. There was United. City wasn’t the big club it is right now. My agent told me: ‘Do you want to play in the big club, already with a big history (United), where you will be just one of them? Or play for Manchester City, who didn’t win the league for 44 years, where if you win the trophy, you can make history.’ I said: ‘oh, yeah, I want to make history.’ In my first year, I won the league. I don’t have any regrets.
Nasri signed a deal with City that, according to a report in the Sun (subscription required), trebled his wages to £175,000 per week.
That would appear to be true, as Nasri told Winter:
Economically I have a better life now than what I had at Arsenal. It’s normal. If I said to you tomorrow that there is another journal, as serious as your journal, offer you three times your salary, I think you are going to go there!
Nasri is a hate figure among the vast majority of Arsenal fans, and there is little chance of him ever returning.
The club remains in his heart, though, and the tipping point for his exit came in a discussion with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger with regard to potential new arrivals at the club:
I had the discussion with the manager. I said: ‘Cesc is going, who we are going to take?’ Then he told me the name of some players that he was going to take. No disrespect to them but they were not the standing of Fabregas to win a trophy.’