Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has lashed out at Roberto Mancini, describing the Manchester City manager as "absolutely out of order" for publicly declaring his wish to sign Samir Nasri.
Mancini admitted yesterday that he hopes to recruit Nasri before the end of the month, with Wenger clearly becoming furious at the way other clubs are openly talking about players who are under contract at Arsenal. Wenger has called Barcelona "disrespectful" for their repeated public pursuit of Cesc Fabregas and, after watching his team draw 1-1 in China yesterday with Hangzhou Greentown, he accused Mancini of breaking football's code of conduct.
"I think the comments are not allowed," said Wenger. "They are against the basic rules of football and he should be informed [of that]. What we want is respect and we don't make these comments about players who are under contract at other clubs. It's time football in England came back to these basic rules."
Asked if Mancini was also disrespectful, Wenger said: "I cannot say otherwise. This comment is absolutely out of order but I don't give it more importance than that."
Wenger stopped short of calling for either the Premier League or Fifa to intervene, but has previously said that Barcelona have a case to answer for 'tapping up'. "I don't know what should be done," he said. "I don't spend my time worrying about what other people say because we are focused on our game."
Wenger has already said that there is no possibility of Nasri leaving this summer, even though he is in the final year of his contract. With uncertainty still surrounding the future of his captain Cesc Fabregas, it means that Wenger is willing to gamble on losing the certainty of a big transfer fee for Nasri.
Both Manchester City and Manchester United would pay at least £20m. Mancini, though, still appears to be holding out hope. "For Samir it depends on many things," said Mancini. "I hope that we can buy because we need other players, and I hope that this player can arrive before the end of the month." Asked if City had made a bid for Nasri, Mancini said: "I don't know... but for Nasri it is difficult."
City are in negotiations with Corinthians after receiving a second bid for Carlos Tevez. The Brazilian club have bid €40m plus €4m in add-ons which, while still falling short of City's £45m asking price, has given both a clubs a basis for trying to come to a deal.
Tevez is owed significant sums in bonuses by City and if he decides not to take them up it could help get closer to City's asking price.
Another factor to be taken into consideration is that City will accept a lower bid from Corinthians than they would from a European club, in part out of compassionate grounds because of his desire to be closer to his family but also because they do not constitute a direct Champions League rival.
Should Tevez leave, it will speed the club's planned recruitment of Sergio Aguero from Atletico Madrid. The Argentina striker is at the Copa America but that is no bar to a €45m deal being done in the next fortnight. Mancini confirmed that Aguero was a player the club were chasing and believes he would complement his other attacking options.
"Aguero is a player that can play for Manchester City because he is young and he is a good player like Carlos," Mancini said. "He can score a lot of goals and can play with Mario (Balotelli), with Edin [Dzeko]... it could be [that he joins]."
Meanwhile, City have agreed a €17m fee with Bayern Munich for the sale of Jerome Boateng and they are also close to selling reserve goalkeeper Shay Given to Aston Villa -- the deal should be concluded early this week.
One player seemingly no closer to the exit at City is Emmanuel Adebayor, who is yet to report for pre-season training. The City hierarchy have consulted the Professional Footballer's Association regarding the issue and, having not trained for five days, Adebayor will receive a massive fine. The Togo striker has his heart set on a move to Real Madrid but the Spanish club do not value him at the €20m City are looking for.
Sunday Indo Sport