It has been a quietly bubbling transfer saga all of its own, overshadowed by Euro 2008 and the boring Ronaldo-Real ego rub-down.
But last night, Marseille’s Samir Nasri claimed that he has signed a four-year deal with the Gunners and they have agreed a £15.8m deal with the Marseillais.
The 20-year-old winger, who appeared as a substitute for France at Euro 2008, announced on his personal website that he is heading the The Emirates Stadium, even though Arsenal have yet to confirm it. However, even his agent, Jean-Pierre Bernes, admits the announcement was “premature” as Marseille and Arsenal are not completely eye-to-eye over the transfer yet.
Nasri fits into the Arsenal mould – being young and French – while Wenger has been a long-term public admirer of Nasri, with many seeing him as a perfect replacement for the Barcelona-bound Alexander Hleb, and earlier this month said of the player:
His whole future is ahead of him and he has quite a margin for progressing further.
He has, in any case, the qualities needed to assert himself at the highest level.
The deal looks to be done, especially with its early announcement, although as the transfer drags on, who knows what twists and turns lie ahead?