It has been a slow train comin', but according to the BBC, Manchester City are close to signing Arsenal forward Samir Nasri for £25 million.
While there has been no official confirmation from Arsenal or City, 25 million pounds, if the case, would represent about a 100% profit on the Frenchman for the club. Of course, that was never the goal for the club; as Arsène Wenger has stated:
"Imagine the worst situation - we lose Fabregas and Nasri," stated Wenger. "You cannot convince people you are ambitious after that. You cannot pretend you are a big club.
"A big club holds onto its big players and gives a message out to all the other big clubs that they just cannot come in and take [players] away from you."
This summer, as hard as it has been for supporters, has probably been triply so for the manager. One gets the sense that he was truly shattered over the Cesc Fabregas transfer, and Nasri is another player that the manager had followed from his teenage years at Olympique Marseille and brought to Arsenal to be a key midfield/attacking player in the next generation of Gunners.
And Nasri was playing out of his damned mind at the start of the 2010-11 season. He was at the end of a great move to open the scoring in Arsenal's 3-0 victory at Eastlands vs. Manchester City, and he scored two ethereal, balletic goals against Fulham during the holiday festivities. He had fully taken to heart Wenger's hopes that he would learn to move to space and get on the end of teammate's passing moves, rather than being too attracted to the ball and looking to take on the world by himself, and it was paying massive dividends for Nasri and the team.
By December, Wenger had publicly noted that a new contract was on the table for Nasri to sign. Nasri, however, never put his nom sur le papier, as they say in France (hey, in my mind, they say that in France; leave me alone).
Whether he had his eyes on something larger in the zeroes department at that point or not, nobody can really know. It is certain, though, that City can offer significantly more in wages than just about any club on earth with the possible exceptions of Chelsea, Madrid, or Paris St. Germain. Whatever he was thinking about his contract, though, by spring, his form had ebbed noticeably. He was no longer moving into space as well as he had been in the autumn, and his end product looked a shadow of its former self.
At this point, £25m is a price for Nasri that Arsenal would have to be absolutely bonkers to ignore. He is in his final year, and that amount of money is a CRAP TON (or CARP TON, if fish is your whole, like, deal) for a player who can leave on a Bosman in a year. But Roberto Mancini seems like he's carrying a bit of a torch for the winger, looking to add to his collection of skilled attackers (what, Bobby; David Silva, Kun Aguëro, Adam Johnson, Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko, aren't enough for you? My god, man, the appetite on you!)
For Arsenal, though, it is hard to say how they will cope, depth-wise. Ryo Miyaichi and Gervinho look good, but are untested (and/or suspended for three games for slapping Mr. Joseph Barton). Nasri was never going to work out as a number ten in Arsenal's current system; he looked out of position and incapable of providing the killer pass in preseason against the likes of Hangzhou Greentown, so doing it on a Wednesday night at Stoke was not in the cards.
Still, should the deal go through, Arsenal's need for midfield and wing reinforcements increases yet again. 25 million pounds Sterling should go some ways to getting in some help, though, should Wenger start to feel a bit randy.