Sir Alex Ferguson plans to beat Etihad Stadium rivals to bring Gunners star to Old Trafford.
Samir Nasri was in the North West on Tuesday night having a medical after Arsenal finally accepted a £24million bid from Manchester City.
But Sportsmail understands Manchester United were closely monitoring the situation in the hope they might yet be able to hijack the deal, which is also expected to see around £2m going to the France midfielder’s agent.
City now look like Nasri’s next club and United would struggle to match the £185,000-a-week wages being offered to the player for the next five years.
But Sir Alex Ferguson is a huge admirer and might just be able to lure Nasri to Old Trafford with the promise of a central role he had in mind for Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder.
Yesterday Arsenal seemed to consider City the more likely destination, confirming a deal had been struck shortly before boarding their plane for Italy.
A statement read: ‘Arsenal can confirm that they have agreed terms for Samir Nasri to move to Manchester City. The 24-year-old midfielder has been omitted from Arsenal’s squad which flies to Italy to face Udinese.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail
This would be quite a coup but certainly not outside the bounds of possibility. Sir Alex Ferguson is known to be looking to snap up a goalscoring midfielder and to that end has been linked with the likes of Luka Modric, Mario Goetze and most prominently Wesley Sneijder. A week or so back several sources claimed that the Arsenal man’s agent had stated that his client was holding out for a move to Old Trafford so perhaps this is his chance?
Arsene Wenger has already decided to cash in on the French international, although some say that he is being forced into that decision by the North London club’s board who are looking to get a good fee for the 24 year old rather than losing him for nothing next summer.
Roberto Mancini is eager to get the deal done and the former Marseille man is in Manchester set for his medical and the Italian will then have to work out how he will fit all his attack minded midfielders into the same eleven. The City boss already has the likes of Adam Johnson, David Silva, Mario Balotelli (who is effective out wide as well as an orthodox striker) and James Milner to call upon with the battlers like Nigel De Jong, Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure to hold the midfield together.
Sir Alex Ferguson may have felt that the good form shown by youngster Tom Cleverley would negate the need to bring in more midfield options but perhaps the chance to beat their local rivals to the punch is reason enough to make an offer. Having brought in Ashley Young the Man United boss appears to have more than enough options on the wings and therefore a move to sign the Arsenal man would presumably so that he could play him in the hole behind the strikers.
Nasri had his most effective season to date last term, netting 15 goals and assisting many others whilst the rest of his side struggled for form, the French international was one of the few bright sparks of the campaign, along with Jack Wilshere and Robin Van Persie.
Wenger will have to get his skates on if he wants to effectively replace Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas. The Emirates Stadium boss must also look to strengthen a defence that is not only shaky but is also looking threadbare after injuries suffered by the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou.