Complications could delay Samir Nasri's Manchester City debut

Complications could delay Samir Nasri's Manchester City debutSamir Nasri is unlikely to be cleared to make his debut for Manchester City at Bolton Wanderers on Sunday, as the fine details on his £22m transfer from Arsenal have not yet been ironed out.

The two clubs have reached the basis of an agreement, under which Nasri will follow Kolo Touré, Emmanuel Adebayor and Gaël Clichy from Arsenal to City, and the midfielder has long been satisfied with the financial terms on offer. He ignored Arsenal's proposal of a new contract worth £90,000 a week, to replace one that expires next summer, and he stands to double the figure at City. But there are final complications to be resolved, which include the payment of fees to the agents involved.

Arsenal's contract offer would have made Nasri one of the highest paid players in the club's history and there has been exasperation in north London at his refusal to sign, particularly as it was believed that he was ready to do so in February. The case also illustrates City's ability to dwarf rival clubs in the financial stakes. When the deal does go through, Nasri can be expected to argue that he is more likely to win silverware at City than Arsenal.

Arsène Wenger has discounted Nasri from his plans for the Premier League visit of Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime, even though the Arsenal manager has been confronted by a selection crisis in midfield. He will be without the suspended Alex Song and Gervinho, together with the injured Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby, while Tomas Rosicky, who played with a groin problem against Udinese in the Champions League on Tuesday night, is a doubt. In defence, Kieran Gibbs could yet feature despite limping off with hamstring trouble against Udinese and Armand Traoré is also not as badly injured as was feared, when he went off for the reserves with groin trouble.

For Nasri to play for City at Bolton, the paperwork on the transfer would need to be completed and him registered with the Premier League by midday . It is more likely that his debut will come in City's following fixture, which would carry added spice for him. City play at Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday.

Wenger, meanwhile, has criticised Uefa for a lack of clarity over their rules regarding whether it is permissible for a suspended manager to communicate from the stands with his bench. He served a touchline ban against Udinese and he relayed his orders via his assistant Boro Primorac, who was seated alongside him in the stands. But at half-time, he was ordered to stop.

"It was difficult because you didn't really know what the rules were," Wenger said. "They told us first we could communicate through my assistant and at half-time it was not like that. It was a bit confusing. It is a real concern because up to what level can you stop someone doing their job?"

Wenger appeared to continue relaying orders in the second half and Uefa has not yet announced whether it will take the matter further.

Powered by article was written by David Hytner, for The Guardian on Thursday 18th August 2011 23.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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