Manchester City wait for Nasri decision

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The Independent Football

There will be almost as much interest in Arsenal's travelling squad for their Champions League qualifier with Udinese amongst Manchester City fans as there will be for Gunners supporters when it leaves Luton tomorrow morning.

After spending virtually the entire summer being told Samir Nasri was near the top of Roberto Mancini's wanted list and it was only a matter of time before a transfer was concluded, the Blues are now sweating on whether a deal will be completed after all.

With nine days of the transfer window remaining, time is not a particular problem in the haggling over agents' fees, which are believed to be the source of the problem.

What is causing consternation is that if Nasri faces Udinese on Wednesday, he would be ineligible to play for City for the Champions League, so Mancini would almost certainly pull the plug.

Arsenal are aware of this and relations between them and City over the matter are said to be cordial.

However, the brutal truth is that after an already wretched start to the season, if the Gunners were to go out of the competition this week, it would cost them around £30million.

If Arsene Wenger concludes Arsenal's customary place in Europe's elite competition - for which City have already qualified - would be at risk without Nasri's involvement in Italy, he may decide to gamble, risking a £22million transfer fee in the process for a player now heading into the final year of his contract.

Such a scenario is not ideal for anyone, least of all Mancini, whose grumbles about City's recruitment policy have already been aired.

Mancini has already discovered one potential signing, Fiorentina winger Alessio Cerci, has opted to remain in Serie A. If he were to miss out on Nasri as well, the Italian would not be happy despite his side's excellent start.

Blues officials have stressed no resolution has been found to the present impasse, so it seems the next move will be Wenger's.

It all places a rather unnecessary cloud on what is otherwise a virtually blemish-free picture for City.

Shedding two goals at Bolton yesterday seems a small price to pay for abandoning the safety-first tactics that characterised Mancini's early months at the club.

Seven goals and six points represents a pretty decent return ahead of the first meaningful showdown of the season, at Tottenham next Sunday.

"The team is doing very well but we want to keep doing this for a long time," David Silva told

"We are feeling good. We want to keep improving and getting good results to help us get near the top."

Silva is relishing the chance of starring alongside new signing Sergio Aguero.

With Edin Dzeko netting three times already this term, Carlos Tevez looking more likely to stay than leave, there is little requirement for the volatile talents of Mario Balotelli, let alone the half dozen viewed as surplus to Mancini's requirements.

Of those, a £3.9million 'agreement-in-principle' has been reached for Vladimir Weiss to join Dynamo Kiev, although there are still a few issues to resolve before the transfer can be concluded.

Mancini would hope to get rid of a few big earners so he can make a final plunge into the market as he accepts life cannot always be guaranteed to be quite so comfortable during an arduous English season.

"We have good strikers but the season is long," observed Mancini, who hopes to have combative midfielder Nigel de Jong available at White Hart Lane after the Dutchman missed out yesterday with a foot injury.

"After the international break, we have to play every three days.

"It will be very hard."