Visa problems rule Gervinho out of Arsenal's Asia tour
Sunday 10 July 2011
Gervinho's £11m move from Lille to Arsenal will be delayed by at least another week due to visa problems, so the forward will miss the club's seven-day pre-season tour of the Far East.
The Ivory Coast international completed a medical at the Emirates on Wednesday but ran into unexpected problems as his paperwork was not in order.
It meant Gervinho had to go back to France and will not be able to return to England until a visa has been approved which is expected to take at least another seven days.
While Arsenal believe it will not put the 24-year-old's move under threat, it still comes as a setback to Arsène Wenger as the manager was hoping the week-long tour would help the player settle in with the squad.
The club open the pre-season campaign against a Malaysia XI on Wednesday followed by a clash with the Chinese side Hangzhou Greentown on Saturday before returning to Europe to face FC Cologne on 23 July, by which time Gervinho should be on board.
Samir Nasri, meanwhile, could still to move to either Manchester United or Manchester City this week, despite returning to training for Arsenal on Thursday.
Wenger, who has already let the left-back Gaël Clichy join City for £7m, is reluctant tolet the France midfielder join either club and would prefer Nasri moved abroad, with Internazionale rumoured to be interested.
Nasri has only one year left on his contract and has already turned down the offer of a new deal of around £90,000-a-week. City seems Nasri's most likely destination as Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, is also interested in Inter's Wesley Sneijder.
Wenger gave his first interview of the new season over the weekend and insisted he would "fight hard" to keep Nasri but it is likely the player's future is no longer at the Emirates.
The Arsenal manager also said the same about the midfielder Cesc Fabregas who is destined to return to Barcelona, with the Catalans ready to make an offer of around £35m for the Spain World Cup winner.
Nasri was expected to leave with the rest of the squad for their Asia tour today but Fabregas will be left behind due to a "muscular" injury which will only fuel speculation about his impending departure.
Wenger confirmed that the Japan forward Ryo Miyaichi will be on the plane today and suggested that if the 18-year-old impresses he could be given a chance to play in the first team when the new campaign starts. Miyaichi, whom Wenger signed in January, finished last season on loan at Feyenoord and scored three goals in 12 games.
"He is on the plane because he is quality," said Wenger. "We want to give him a chance to show his quality and I think everybody will be curious to see him play in Asia. I rate him personally... He has done extremely well at Feyenoord."
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