Samir Nasri planning Arsenal talks

Jim van Wijk,Pa
Friday 17 June 2011 14:49

Samir Nasri is determined to prove he has what it takes to be more than a one-season wonder - but as yet there are no firm answers on whether that will be at Arsenal.

The France midfielder, who turns 24 later this month, has still to agree a contract extension with the Gunners - a situation which Manchester United are said to be monitoring closely.

Regardless of all of the summer speculation, Nasri believes he cannot afford to rest on his laurels after an impressive 2010/2011 campaign which saw him included in the shortlist for the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year.

He accepts he was "less efficient" following his return from a mid-season hamstring injury and vowed to improve again.

Speaking to the July edition of the official Arsenal magazine, Nasri said: "As a player, it is hard to stay at the top of your game.

"I don't want last season to be just a one-off. I want to continue playing at my best and be consistent at the level I was at the start of last season.

"This is the difference between a good player and a great player - and I know the expectations will be higher on me too."

Nasri has yet to publicly commit himself to the Gunners cause long term, having moved to Emirates Stadium from Marseille during the summer of 2008.

However, he stressed - at the time of his latest official club interview - that nothing had been decided either way.

"There is not much to say apart from don't listen to all the rumours and everything that is written or said," added Nasri, who would be free to leave on a Bosman transfer in 12 months' time should no new deal be reached.

"Earlier in the season I spoke with the boss and we said we would talk during the summer, which is what we are going to do."

Whether Nasri or indeed captain Cesc Fabregas, a perennial target for boyhood club Barcelona, will be integral to Arsene Wenger's plans again next season remains to be decided.

However, Nasri feels Arsenal are agonisingly close to finally ending their quest for silverware following a sixth barren campaign - and indeed can rival Barclays Premier League champions United for quality.

He added: "At some point, we so want to win, our desire is so big that we rush things and make mistakes. But it is not because we are scared, but because we want to win so badly and we don't think enough.

"As a team, we all realise now what we need to do to win a trophy.

"We had everything to be champions, but if you look at it, every time we played to go top of the league, we never did.

"In terms of talent, I feel we had the best squad of the whole league. We played the best football.

"We were the best team, even if Manchester United had a good season too."

Nasri added: "We have improved so much.

"If the boss adds some good players, I really believes a trophy will be won."

Arsenal have signed promising young defender Carl Jenkinson from Charlton, and look set to further bolster the squad with Blackburn defender Christopher Samba and Ivory Coast forward Gervinho in an £11million deal from Lille.

However, movement will also be two ways this summer, with Nicklas Bendtner one of several fringe players set to leave, although Sporting Lisbon general director Carlos Freitas maintains there has been no formal offer for the Denmark striker.

Arsenal also confirmed youngsters Mark Randall, Thomas Cruise and Roarie Deacon have been released at the end of their contracts.

Wenger will break with his traditional pre-season when he takes the squad on a lucrative tour of the Far East in mid-July, before hosting the Emirates Cup and a final warm-up game at Benfica ahead of the new Premier League campaign, which starts at Newcastle.

The Gunners, who faded badly to finish fourth, will face a Champions League play-off in between testing fixtures against Liverpool at home and then United away on August 27.

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