Midfielder the subject of stinging attack from Etihad Stadium boss.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has launched a stinging attack on his own midfielder Samir Nasri following a dismal first half of the season.
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Nasri, who joined City in a £24million deal from Arsenal, was a regular in the Manchester City that won the Premier League title last year but has been a shadow of himself this season with Mancini’s side struggling to defend their crown.
And Mancini, whose own position at the club is under severe pressure with several names linked with replacing him in the summer, has criticised the French international midfielder for his performances.
The 25-year-old’s performances included when hiding behind a team-mate as Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie struck an injury-time free-kick winner in the Manchester derby.
“Samir can do better than this year,” Mancini told The Sun. “He is a top player but he has not been playing at his level. Sometimes a player thinks it’s enough what they did the year before and doesn’t understand that every day they should improve.
“Samir has fantastic qualities. He should always play well. A player of this quality could be one of the best players in Europe. But it’s not happening.
“If you are a top player you know you can improve until the last day of your career. But sometimes you get players who think it is not important to work and this is their worst mistake. You win the title, you think it’s enough to play 50 per cent and you don’t arrive the next year.”
Nasri has been named as one of the likely departures in the summer as Manchester City undertake a clear-out of up to 10 first-team players, with Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Gareth Barry among those also potential leavers.
Monaco, who look destined to return to Ligue 1 in France after topping the table in the second division, have been reported to be preparing a double deal to sign Nasri and team-mate Tevez, who will have just one year of his contract left to run at the end of the season.