For much of the summer, Arsene Wenger had to field questions about the futures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, trying to ward off the speculation – and likelihood – that arguably Arsenal’s two best players would be leaving the Emirates Stadium this summer. Brave resistance as it may have been, the dam finally broke, as Fabregas sealed his dream return to boyhood and hometown club Barcelona last week, and now, Nasri is on the verge of completing a long-anticipated move to Manchester City.
City Agree Nasri Deal
It looked in the last couple of days as if Nasri’s move to City could break down, but the Frenchman is now on his way to Manchester. A statement on the Arsenal website confirms that the two sides have agreed a fee, with reports saying that City will fork out between £22-25m for the 24-year-old midfielder.
With Nasri set to have his medical today, it would seem that the formalities would be completed in plenty of time for him to make his City debut on Sunday at Tottenham, who he scored four goals against in three appearances last season.
While the jury should still be out as to whether or not he’s the ‘missing piece’ for City (and not because of his undisputed talent), the big question is how much of the funds from this sale and the Fabregas sale Wenger will use to make the kind of reinforcements that are now needed for Arsenal to be the Arsenal they should be. Arsene says that will be the case, and there’s still more than enough time to do so, whether or not Lille’s Eden Hazard and Rennes’ Yann M’Vila are available, but we’ll see if those words are followed up with actions, or if the final list of Premier League summer transfers makes for disappointing reading for Gunners fans.
Modric To Stay At Spurs?
Luka Modric missing Tottenham’s Monday night defeat Manchester United due to some ‘mental issues’ might have appeared to be a clear indication that the Croatian midfielder’s days at White Hart Lane are coming to an end, but instead of granting his wish for a move to Chelsea, Harry Redknapp and Daniel Levy are set to dig their heels in and do the opposite.
According to the London Evening Standard, Tottenham could be set to offer Modric a new deal and perhaps even make him the club’s first £100k per week earner.
Now, money does indeed cure a lot of things, but will it be enough to turn Modric’s head away from Stamford Bridge? Few things are genuinely impossible, but Modric seems to be quite determined to leave North London for West London, so it might take a little more convincing – and perhaps a commitment to make a couple of necessary additions before the end of the window.
Anzhi Agree Eto’o Deal
Samuel Eto’o will soon officially become the highest-paid player in world football, as his sensational move from Inter Milan to ambitious Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala will be completed tomorrow. According to Italian reports, the two sides have agreed a fee of £21.8m, and Anzhi have released a statement on their website stating that the Cameroonian striker will tomorrow have a medical and sign a three-year deal, reportedly worth an eye-popping £17.9m per season after tax.
Quite naturally, the money involved is the headliner in this deal (that is a lot of rubles, no doubt!), but from a footballing standpoint, getting one of the world’s most lethal finishers, who is anything but past it, is a massive boost for Anzhi in attack, as they’ve scored only 24 goals in 21 league matches. That boost puts them in a great position to closely challenge Zenit St. Petersburg and CSKA Moscow for the Russian Premier League title and at the very least secure their second-ever berth in European competition.
Blackburn Land Vukcevic
Blackburn have bolstered their struggling side with the signing of Montenegrin international midfielder Simon Vukcevic from Sporting Lisbon for £2m. The 25-year-old spent four seasons at Sporting, scoring 14 goals in 77 league appearances, and he has two goals in 27 appearances for Montenegro.
After narrowly escaping the drop last season, Blackburn have started the new season with consecutive defeats, so reinforcements are severely needed if they’re to avoid the same battle again. This could be a low-risk, high-reward signing for Steve Kean, if Vukcevic plays up to his talent level, as after a great debut season for Sporting in 2007/08 (after which he was linked with Blackburn), he didn’t consistently produce the same form over the last few seasons. He has the ability to be a success in the Premier League (as evidenced here), and if he can show it on a regular basis, he could provide a major lift for a sagging squad.