Arsenal left in no doubt about Nasri's strong desire to leave

Midfielder determined to force £25m move to United in pursuit of silverware

Arsenal were facing up to the fact they may have no option but to sell Samir Nasri last night after the player made it clear how desperate he is to leave, following Manchester United's £20m offer.

The mood at Old Trafford has been one of mounting pessimism after the initial offer for Nasri, tabled three weeks ago, failed to elicit even a formal rejection from the north London club. The Independent understands that Nasri and manager Arsène Wenger did not hold talks when the midfielder returned to London Colney yesterday. But the club is establishing a full sense of how badly Nasri wants to leave, with the prospect of the silverware at United strengthening his resolve to go.

Nasri's own determination to leave is now understood to be a more significant factor even than the commercial pressure the club will find themselves under to sell, should United raise their bid for a player who will be out of contract in only 12 months' time and at liberty to walk away.

The narrow ownership structure of the club had been seen as another reason why United may have failed in their audacious bid to prise Nasri away, with a feeling that neither Alisher Usmanov nor Stan Kroenke would stand in Wenger's way if he wanted to keep the player.

Wenger is also understood to vehemently oppose the idea of selling the player to a rival club, which would make Manchester City and Chelsea – who have been monitoring the instability of Nasri's situation at Arsenal – equally unlikely suitors. Though Internazionale are understood to have had discussions with Nasri's representatives, too, the Frenchman is keen to stay in the Premier League and he seems to hold the cards.

But the fact that Arsenal may be willing to accept £25m, a figure only £5m above the initial United asking price, suggests that United will find the move for Nasri far more straightforward than they had initially thought. The uncertain factor in the equation, though, is the tribal rivalry which has characterised United's relationship with Arsenal.

There has been a feeling at the highest level within Old Trafford that removing Nasri from Arsenal may be considered akin to Liverpool trying to take a player from them. United remember the Gabriel Heinze saga, at the end of the 2006/7 season, in which Heinze demanded the right to be transferred to Liverpool and Sir Alex Ferguson steadfastly refused the £6.8m bid and Heinze went to Real Madrid the following August instead.

But, if anything, Nasri's desire to leave is even greater than Heinze's was back then. Arsenal have rejected the £120,000-a-week deal he wants to take him to the top of Arsenal's payscale, and he will be out of contract next summer. Arsenal were initially ready to demand a knock-out sum to deter a United move, though their position has softened. However, Nasri will be on their pre-season tour to Asia when the squad fly out on Sunday.

United's move for Nasri means that the prospect of the club moving for Wesley Sneijder is receding. The view from Milan is that Internazionale are ready to part company with the Dutchman, whose agent Sir Alex Ferguson met in London in April.

But it will take a £35m deal to prise Sneijder out of Inter's clutches and United's transfer culture – which generally rules out major investments in players over the age of 26 – also suggests that the prospect of Sneijder moving to Old Trafford are remote. The Dutchman turned 27 a month ago.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits