Ferguson plays mind games over Nasri move

 

Sir Alex Ferguson exerted subtle pressure on Arsène Wenger over the attempted purchase of Samir Nasri late last night in what appeared to be one last attempt to revive his fading hopes of signing the player.

When it was put to Ferguson at a brief press conference in Boston that Wenger had declared he could convince Nasri to stay, spurning a £20m United bid, the United manager said: "That's a decision [Wenger] has made. He is the manager. If he stands by that decision it's a brave one. I'm not sure the [Arsenal] directors will enjoy that one, but it's possible. Maybe he will have to stay."

Privately, there has been a feeling at United that the narrow ownership structure at Arsenal could actually be an impediment to United's attempts to buy Nasri, with Alisher Usmanov and Stan Kroenke both unlikely to stand in Wenger's way if he wanted to keep the player. But in a classic piece of reverse Ferguson psychology, the manager applied pressure on both the player and his club, while seemingly ruling out buying a player he badly wants. "I don't think he's coming to United. That's all I can tell you," Ferguson added. "I think he's agreed to go somewhere else. Maybe he has to stay at Arsenal, also. That's a possibility." Nasri does not appear to have agreed to sign for Manchester City, despite Ferguson's inference.

Nasri, 24, has one year left on his contract and has refused to sign a new five-year extension that Arsenal are offering. Arsenal, who would only consider letting Nasri leave to a direct Premier League rival for £25m, are content to risk losing Nasri for nothing in 12 months as it is understood the player is leaning towards playing out the final year of his contract. Wenger, speaking in Kuala Lumpur on the first day of Arsenal's pre-season trip to Malaysia, said: "Will he [Nasri] be at the club next season? I say yes. The second part [of the question] – will he sign a new contract? I hope yes, but I am not the only one to decide. Samir Nasri is very happy at the club and is committed to staying at the club."

Wenger expressed optimism about retaining his captain Cesc Fabregas.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
booksNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015