Monday 11 December 2017

Wenger transfer dealings key to Nasri signing new Arsenal deal

Arsenal's Samir Nasri. Photo: Reuters
Arsenal's Samir Nasri. Photo: Reuters

Jeremy Wilson

Samir Nasri has given Arsenal fresh hope that he can be persuaded to sign a new contract by agreeing to new talks with Arsene Wenger about his future.

It is understood that Arsenal were encouraged last week by conversations with Nasri's representatives and, with Wenger now back at the club's London Colney base, further negotiations are imminent.

Nasri is unconvinced by the new contract that has been offered by Arsenal -- understood to be £80,000-a-week over five years -- but, of potentially greater significance to the France midfielder's decision, is what Wenger now does in the transfer market.

The 23-year-old wants to be certain that Arsenal will genuinely be in a position to challenge for trophies over the period of his new contract.

Manchester United are interested and, although Wenger has ruled out a sale to his rivals, a major decision would have to be made if Nasri does not agree a new deal and could then leave for nothing next summer.

Wenger has said that the club need to know where they stand before the start of the season and has promised that there will be no repeat of when Mathieu Flamini allowed his contract to run down and joined AC Milan on a free transfer three years ago.

Arsenal are close to signing Lille striker Gervinho and Ricardo Alvarez, a midfielder who is out of contract at Argentinian club Velez Sarsfield.

Alvarez has also attracted the interest of Palermo but their president, Maurizio Zamparini, believes a deal is already in place with Arsenal.

Wenger also wants to make significant changes to his defence, with two new centre-backs likely to be recruited. Gael Clichy is out of contract next year and appears likely to be sold, meaning Wenger must consider his left-back options. He has high hopes for Kieran Gibbs, but the 21-year-old has yet to play a full senior season.

Thomas Vermaelen could cover the position, having previously played as a full-back in Belgium.

Everton's Leighton Baines is highly regarded but, after Arsenal failed with a bid for Phil Jagielka last summer, there is a sense that it will be difficult to prise players away from Everton.

If, as expected, Vermaelen is primarily used as a centre-back, the desire of Wenger to add two more central defenders clearly suggests that Arsenal are open to offers for Sebastien Squillaci. Arsenal are interested in Gary Cahill and Christopher Samba, while Matthew Upson and Jonathan Woodgate, who are both free agents, will be considered.

Wenger is also facing another summer in which he must persuade captain Cesc Fabregas that his future lies with Arsenal.

Arsenal turned down an initial £27m bid from Barcelona this week, but there is likely to be a fresh offer of around £30m.

Fabregas, who is currently in Jakarta, is expected to visit family and friends in Barcelona next week before returning to Arsenal for the start of pre-season training. Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Scott Carson was yesterday edging closer to a move to Turkey. It is understood that discussions between West Brom and Bursaspor could be concluded today.

The 25-year-old England international made 32 appearances for the club last season as promoted West Brom only just missed out on a top-10 Premier League finish.

However, with manager Roy Hodgson reportedly running the rule over a series of goalkeeping targets, it appears his time at the Hawthorns could be drawing to a close. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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