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Arsenal Transfer News: Matija Nastasic Offer Reported, Claudio Marchisio Blow

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2014

AL AIN, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - MAY 15:  Matija Nastasic of Manchester City in action during the friendly match between Al Ain and Manchester City at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on May 15, 2014 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

Arsenal reportedly received both good and bad news regarding their transfer plans on Friday, as one door seemingly closed while another may be opening.

Arsene Wenger could receive help from an unexpected source in his quest to bolster his defensive options, as Manchester City are ready to offer Serbian youngster Matija Nastasic for as little as £5 million, according to Goal.com's Greg Stobart.

The 21-year-old will reportedly be offered to Arsenal and Tottenham, two clubs expected to be heavily involved in the January transfer market as they look for defensive reinforcements.

The news Nastasic may be leaving the Etihad Stadium isn't new; during the summer transfer window, Manuel Pellegrini suggested it would be best for his career, naming four centre-backs who would be receiving more minutes, per the Daily Mirror's David Anderson:

Matija needs to play. We already have important players here with four full-backs, Demichelis, Kompany, Mangala and Boyata. So we will see in the next few days what happens with Nastasic. He is an important player, but he has offers and I think the best thing for him is to play.

We will see what happens, but we have until the end of August to see what kind of offers we get for Matija.

The City boss remained true to his word: Nastasic hasn't played a minute of football since the Community Shield, according to WhoScored.com.

While the Serb carries relatively high wages, some £75,000 per week, per Stobart, his tremendous potential coupled with a low transfer fee makes him an interesting January target.

It wasn't so long ago Nastasic was seen as one of the brightest young defenders in European football, putting together an impressive first season for the Citizens before an untimely injury put him in his current downward spiral.

It's hard to believe Pellegrini would prefer Dedryck Boyata to the wildly talented Nastasic, but that appears to be the case. Brazilian football expert Zizouology believes the Gunners should pounce if the reports are true:

Aswin @Zizouology

Nastasić for £5 million is a no-brainer. Arsenal are getting an excellent defender for an excellent fee, if reports are to be believed.

If the 21-year-old would truly only cost Wenger £5 million, he should be on the phone and arranging a deal the minute fireworks go off above the Thames to celebrate the new year.

Arsenal are desperate for defensive cover, with depth the biggest concern at this point of the 2014-15 season. Nastasic has Premier League experience and could step in and help out right away, while his long-term potential makes him the kind of young asset the French manager loves to work with.

One player who appears unlikely to make the switch to the Emirates is Juventus' Claudio Marchisio, who will be handed a new contract to fend off potential suitors, according to Italian outlet Tuttosport (h/t Metro's Vaishali Bhardwaj).

The Italy international is a youth product of the Bianconeri and was one of the few talented youngsters who didn't leave the club during the years following the Calciopoli scandal, and the club is understandably keen on keeping him around.

The 28-year-old has developed into a fine midfielder, with the versatility to slot into a central role, out on the left wing or even as a forward. He plays with tenacity and displays a strong defensive work ethic, and his consistent performances have been rewarded with a regular spot in Italy's national team.

It bears mentioning Tuttosport is a Turin-based newspaper that frequently links Juventus players with moves to England. FourFourTwo's Adam Digby doesn't believe a word of the report Arsenal are looking into his signature:

Adam Digby @Adz77

Today's @tuttosport links Arsenal with Claudio Marchisio in January. Please. Do. Not. Believe. It. #AFC #JuveNews http://t.co/mqrh8K27w1

It's difficult to envision where Marchisio would slot into Arsenal's line-up, as his most natural fit would be to take over the role currently occupied by Aaron Ramsey.

Regardless of whether the Gunners' interest is genuine, the chances of the Italian leaving Turin are slim. There may not be a lot of one-club men left in modern football, but Marchisio certainly looks like one of the few remaining.

A hometown favourite, it will take a lot to pry him away from Juventus, who can offer both competitive wages and almost guaranteed silverware, with three consecutive Serie A titles.

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