Man City leave it late but seal Nasri swoop

PLAYMAKER Samir Nasri was pulled out of Arsenal’s trip to Udinese at the 11th hour after Manchester City finally ironed out the disagreements delaying his £24m transfer.

Nasri trained with the Gunners squad yesterday morning (right) and looked set to board the plane to Italy with the rest of the squad, amid an ongoing stand-off over who would pick up the tab for agents’ payments.

But a deal was finally struck before lunch and Nasri instead set off for Manchester, where he was due to undergo a medical and complete a move that has edged towards completion over a number of weeks.

City boss Roberto Mancini had been keen to tie it up before Arsenal faced Udinese in this evening’s Champions League play-off. If selected, Nasri would have become ineligible to play for City in the same competition this season.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had initially wanted to keep Nasri, and remarked earlier in the summer that the Gunners could not be considered “ambitious” if they sold both him and captain Cesc Fabregas.

But yesterday, a week after Fabregas left for Barcelona, Wenger took comfort in the fact that there were no immediate doubts over the futures of his remaining first-team players.

“You want to have players who do not play and think they go the next morning. It’s not ideal. So you want players who are completely committed to the long-term, to defend our chances,” he said.

“The summer was very difficult because we had Cesc Fabregas and Nasri on permanent transfer negotiations and that is draining in the end.

“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.”