Arsenal agree sale of Samir Nasri to Manchester City

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The Independent Football

Samir Nasri is close to completing his move from Arsenal to Manchester City after the London club confirmed an agreement had been reached between the Premier League sides.

The France midfielder trained with the Gunners this morning as they prepare for a crucial Champions League play-off second leg match against Udinese tomorrow night.

But instead of travelling to Italy he instead made for Manchester, where he will undergo a medical as he seeks to finalise his move north.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted the constant speculation surrounding Nasri and Cesc Fabregas - who last week completed a move to Barcelona - has been "draining" for the team, who have made a disappointing start in the Barclays Premier League.

The Frenchman said: "The summer was very difficult because we had Cesc Fabregas and Nasri on permanent transfer negotiations and that is draining in the end.

"We lost two great players and that's a sad side of the story but at some stage it has to be over, because you want to focus on the future."

City have reportedly agreed to pay in the region of £24million for Nasri, who is out of contract at the end of the season and has refused to sign a new deal.

Wenger, asked if the timing of the transfer had anything to do with Nasri potentially being cup-tied for Champions League football if he featured against Udinese, added: "You cannot think only about one game in the season and the decision had a logic but it is of course, as well, a business interest.

"But, overall, what you want is that you have players who do not play and think they go the next morning. It's not ideal as well.

"So you want players who are completely committed to the long-term, to defend our chances."

Asked if it was naive to think the deal could have been finalised sooner, Wenger said: "It's not naive but what you forget maybe is that it doesn't depend only on us.

"We wanted to sort all these cases out very early after the summer, but it wasn't possible.

"And the pace is not only dictated by us, unfortunately."

Wenger is waiting to discover whether or not he will be able to carry out his managerial duties as normal against Udinese.

He is set to serve a two-match ban for breaching the terms of an earlier suspension during last week's first-leg meeting with Udinese at the Emirates Stadium, where he passed messages to the dug-out, believing he had UEFA permission to do so.

Arsenal have lodged an appeal against the ban and have requested a stay of execution which would allow Wenger to take his place in the Gunners technical area tomorrow night. A decision on any delay to the suspension will be taken by the chairman of UEFA's appeals body at some stage today.

Asked if this was the most challenging time he had ever faced as Arsenal boss: "I believe that's part of my job. I'm not at all destabilised by that.

"Overall, my job is to give my best to do well for my club and that's what I do with complete belief in the team and the players I have available.

"I think that's the best opportunity to show as well that we are good enough to fight for this club."

Wenger has called for a solid performance from his side tomorrow night as they defend a 1-0 first-leg lead.

"They're quick on the flanks, so I think we have to keep them quiet, especially (Mauricio) Isla on the right side, who's a provider.

"In midfield, of course, they have some good players, and (Antonio) Di Natale up front.

"So, overall, we need a good, solid defensive performance.

"But we have experience in the Champions League and that's a good way to use it tomorrow night."

Wenger revealed England midfielder Jack Wilshere has suffered a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury, but Tomas Rosicky is in the squad after overcoming a thigh problem, as is Johan Djourou (hamstring) and Armand Traore (groin).

Laurent Koscielny will not play after suffering a back injury against Liverpool at the weekend but could be fit to face Manchester United on Sunday.

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