Arsenal to sell Samir Nasri if he goes on dithering
Transfer Talk: Barcelona and both Milan clubs want Nasri but Wenger hopes to persuade him to stay
Arsenal are running out of patience with Samir Nasri and will sell the midfield maestro if he doesn't get his act together and sign a new contract. That's the jaw-dropping revelation in the Mirror, which claims the Frenchman's agent, Jean-Pierre Bernes, is playing hardball with the Gunners much to the displeasure of manager Arsene Wenger.
Nasri, who joined Arsenal from Marseille in 2008, has one year to run on his contract, but with the Gunners almost certain to end another season without silverware following Sunday's dramatic draw with Liverpool, it's been rumoured the 23-year-old wants to join a more get-up-and-go club.
In recent weeks, Nasri has been linked with Barcelona and AC and Inter Milan, and the Mirror says Arsenal will sell in the summer if he keeps stalling on a new contract deal to avoid him leaving on a free transfer the following year.
The Mirror says the Gunners would want £12m for Nasri, a modest figure for a player who has more talent in his little French finger than Fernando Torres has in his £50m flop of a Spanish body.
Apparently Wenger is desperate for Nasri to stay and will try to convince his compatriot that, with Stan Kroenke now in control of the club, more money will be available with which to strengthen the squad next season.
Meanwhile, the Mirror also claims that Arsenal and Spurs are squaring up for a right old set-to over Birmingham keeper Ben Foster. The 28-year-old, a member of the Blues side that defeated the Gunners in February's Carling Cup, is apparently on the wish-list of both north London clubs with £12m the asking price.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has apparently had all he can stomach of Heurelho Gomes's howlers between the sticks - the latest being a blunder against Real Madrid last week that gifted Cristiano Ronaldo a goal. Arsenal, on the other hand, have been searching for a decent shot-stopper ever since David 'Safe Hands' Seaman took his pony tail into retirement in 2003.
Talking of glovemen, could Schalke's Manuel Neuer be unveiled as the replacement for Edwin van der Sar this week?
Manchester United have long been linked with the 25-year-old German whose form this season has helped his club to the last four of the Champions League, where they play United. Bayern Munich have also been mentioned as an interested party.
Neuer knows where he'll be playing next season but for the moment he's keeping his cards close to his chest, telling reporters at the weekend: "A decision has been taken. People who need to know, know. So everything is cleared up."
And might United be preparing to welcome Uruguayan Diego Forlan back to Old Trafford? The 31-year-old striker, who endured a miserable few seasons in Manchester between 2001 and 2004, is reported to be unhappy at Atletico Madrid and the Daily Mail speculates he might be eyeing up a return to England. It's alleged that Forlan has had a barney with Atletico manager Quique Sanchez and as a consequence is on the market for £9m.
Tottenham offered £17m for Forlan - the star of last year's World Cup - back in January, only to be knocked back. But while the Mail says Spurs are still interested, Forlan is said to want a second bite of the cherry with United.
Finally, goal.com reveals that Chelsea star Michael Essien is likely to remain at Stamford Bridge next season despite rumours suggesting a mass clear-out during the summer.
Owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly ready to off-load several players after Chelsea's trophy-less season but the 28-year-old midfielder is not one of those in the firing line. Goal.com say that Essien held talks with Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck on Thursday and was reassured he still has a role to play at the Bridge.
"He has spoken to the chairman," Essien's agent Fabien Piveteau told Goal.com. "He will stay at Chelsea next season, the club want him to stay and he will be there for the next four seasons. Lots of clubs are interested in Michael but the answer is the same - he is very happy at Chelsea. Everything is fine and everybody is happy about Michael's situation. Now he is looking forward to the future." ·
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