The Sheikh of Abu Dhabi has been trying to secure this deal all summer, and he finally got his man. Manchester City football club of the English Premier League have finally secured the services of French Muslim footballer Samir Nasri from his former club, fellow English League rivals Arsenal.
The Abu Dhabi-owned football club reportedly obtained Nasri for a transfer fee of Â£24million. The 24-year-old midfielder subsequently signed a four year contract with Manchester City. This would be the fourth major signing this summer for City, but it would only be the second most expensive, after the club record Â£38million purchase of Sergio Aguero. Nasri will likely make his Man City debut this Sunday against Tottenham.
Nasri had just one year remaining on his contract at Arsenal, whom he joined in 2008, and the London club have agreed to sell now rather than risk losing him on a free transfer next summer. English Premier League rivals Manchester United had also shown interested in the Frenchman. And in recent weeks, there was growing tension at Arsenal with the common knowledge that Nasri wanted out. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger even included Nasri in the starting lineup this past weekend against Liverpool even after it was apparent that the club was close to a sale. He was, however, left off of the roster for Arsenalâ€™s midweek Champions League qualifying match against Udinese.
This was a rough week for Arsenal, who were forced to sell captain Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona the week before, followed by a home loss to Liverpool. Now they have been strong-armed into parting with another of their young talents.
Nasri came up in the Marseille youth system and made his debut for the French club at the age of 17. He came to Arsenal in 2008 for Â£15.8million. But he struggled for a couple of years, and was even left off of the 2010 French World Cup team. But he finally broke through last year with 15 goals and a nomination for Professional Footballersâ€™ Association Player of the Year.
Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini told www.mcfc.co.uk: â€œHeâ€™s a fantastic player because he has technique, he has mentality. I knew him when he played for Marseille. I followed him when I was at Inter and we wanted to take him five years ago. But I think in the last few years in the Premier League heâ€™s improved a lot. Now I think heâ€™s a top player.â€
Nasri now joins a Muslim-laden squad in Manchester City. The Ivorian brothers Kolo and Yaya Toure are there, as well as fellow Ivorian Abdul Razak, and Somalian midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim, not to mention the Emirati ownership.