The question is clearly a gross oversimplification of the complex chain of negotiations involved in football transfers, but many supporters are prepared to believe that Arsène Wenger means what he says and intends to keep Samir Nasri whether he signs a contract extension or not.
Personally I find it hard to believe that the club would let him go on a free in a year’s time when he could add £20m (or thereabouts) to the coffers this summer.
Even so, if we accept AW’s assertion that Nasri is going nowhere is true, let’s examine the pros and cons on the assumption that he does not intend to sign a new contract with Arsenal.
Pros if Nasri stays
- We would have the services of a top player who has been an integral part of our midfield for another year.
- He could be the difference between us qualifying for the CL or not and the money earned by doing so outweighs the loss of a selling fee.
- We would not be weakening ourselves and strengthening one of our top four rivals by allowing him to go to manu or city.
- We would be sending out an important message to the football world that we won’t be bullied.
Cons if Nasri stays
- We would forego a selling fee reported to be in the region of £20m
- Hopefully we will still have Cesc in addition to Song, Wilshere and Ramsey. Add to that Arshavin, Diaby, Walcott, Rosicky and possibly Frimpong and it would appear that we have an abundance of midfielders.
- He could pick up an injury and miss a large chunk of the season.
- What if he can’t motivate himself such is his disappointment at not being allowed to leave?
Opinions seem to be divided on the issue. I’d be interested to know what the groundswell of opinion among supporters is so please feel free to express your preference by participating in the poll below. The results are open for all to see by clicking on ‘View Results‘
It is entirely possible that all the speculation is based on a false premise. The exercise is purely hypothetical and the whole furore may have just been engineered by Nasri’s negotiating team to get him the best deal possible. Many will say “sell him as long as we spend the money to buy a top player (defender)”.
I think the only two alternatives the club should consider are:
We do everything to encourage him to stay including a sizeable pay rise and repeatedly tell the world he is not for sale
We sell him even if it is to a top four rival.
A possible outcome could be that he signs a new contract with a buy-out clause that allows him to leave in a year’s time. This way both parties retain their dignity and Arsenal will get a good price in addition to his services for one more year.
The idea of a ‘gentleman’s agreement as a form of ‘contract’ seems to have arisen from the circumstances surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from manu. We all know the famous Samuel Goldwyn quote regarding verbal contracts.
I don’t think any top club has ever admitted to striking such a deal which would rely on honour and integrity, both of which are in short supply in the Premiership as Mancini graphically demonstrated only yesterday. Buy-out clauses (often ludicrously high) are common and may be the norm in contracts with the top players so I would expect any new contract signed by Nasri to include an exit strategy.
I want to keep him and keep him happy. Cesc will almost certainly go back to Barca some time in the next few years and the future of Arsenal’s central midfield may well be in the capable hands of Wilshere and Ramsey, but for the timebeing I want to retain the artistry and experience of Nasri but not at the cost of £20m for one season – that’s too high a price.