Transfer boost for Wenger as City confirm Arsenal target could be sold

Man City Etihad

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that defender Matija Nastasic could leave the club after reported interest from Arsenal.

Last season's Premier League champions got off to a good start this time around, defeating Newcastle United 2-0 at St. James' Park on Sunday. Goals from David Silva and Sergio Aguero sealed the win, but as usual, transfer talk dominates the Etihad Stadium.

Having been hit with a Financial Fair Play fine earlier this summer, spending has been somewhat reduced, bringing in just Bacary Sagna, Willy Caballero, Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala. In order to balance the books, City have already let the likes of Costel Pantilimon, Joleon Lescott and Jack Rodwell leave the club, and more could leave before the transfer deadline.

The most likely candidate to head through the exit door is Serbian defender Matija Nastasic, who has slipped down the pecking order following the arrival of Porto star Mangala. Now, City boss Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that Nastasic needs to play games and could leave this month.

"Matija needs to play. We already have important players here, with Demichelis, Kompany, Mangala and Boyata," said the Chilean. "So we will see in the next few days what happens with Nastasic. He is an important player but he has offers and I think the best thing for him is to play. We have until the end of August to see what kind of offers we get."

The revelation from Pellerini could be a huge boost to Arsenal, who had reportedly lined up a move a for the former Fiorentina centre back as a replacement for Vermaelen, after the Gunners sold the Belgian to Barcelona for £15m. At just 21, Nastasic has bags of potential and would probably cost around the £15m that Arsene Wenger's side got for Vermaelen.

Per Mertesacker's absence against Crystal Palace at weekend showed how short Arsenal are at centre back, with right back Calum Chambers having to fill in. Adding depth has to be a priority for Wenger, and Nastasic's availability could be music to the Frenchman's ears.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch