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Arsene Wenger’s dogged resilience to hold onto his best players has served him well in recent years, however the Frenchman must be seething as he watches his failed empire fall to pieces.
The departure of Cesc Fabregas has set a dangerous precedent for Arsenal’s transfer policy, and it seems that, as was the case with their former captain, the Gunners are powerless to prevent Samir Nasri from moving on to pastures new.
The Frenchman has one year remaining on his current deal at the Emirates and seems determined to resolve his future before the end of this transfer window.
Arsenal have found themselves in no man’s land, if they force him to see out his contract, they will lose their best player to a rival club, if they sell him now, a gaping hole in their midfield will turn into a canyon.
Although all indications suggest that the Frenchman is bound for a transfer to rivals Manchester City, Nasri is not a player who is out of Manchester United’s price range.
His wage demands are modest in comparison to some athletes of similar footballing ability and it will most likely cost less than £25 million to pinch his signature from Arsenal’s books.
For £25 million, Sir Alex would be getting an absolute bargain.
Nasri has good pace, flair and is a very competent dribbler. Moreover, he has a keen eye for goal and at the tender age of twenty three he is likely to improve in the future.
He is perhaps not the most physical midfielder on the market but his special awareness and passing ability more than compensate for that.
Furthermore, he is flexible. Although United’s wing department is well covered, he could gel well with Ashley Young on the left flank. Young likes to drift into the centre, when he is doing this Nasri would be able to fill his position on the flank. They could even rotate during the 90 minutes to cause confusion for their opponents.
It seems a distinct certainty that Nasri will be leaving the Emirates this season, but Sir Alex seems certain that it will not be to play at Old Trafford.
In a recent interview with BBC Sport he said: “"I don't think he is coming to United… That is all I can tell you. I think he has agreed to go somewhere else"
Despite the bosses’ pessimism, it may be worth United throwing in a cheeky bid.