Saturday, 8 January 2011

Nasri contract situation gamble - Almunia stay? - Miquel set for Leeds

Morning Gooners,

The rain has been hammering down overnight here in London but it's expected to get drier during the day, although there could be some light showers in N5 during the match. That's sure to make it an interesting afternoon but I'm sure the players will cope with the wet surface.

After hearing everything was going well with negotiations on Samir Nasri's new contract prior to Christmas, the manager said yesterday nothing would be signed until the end of the season during his press conference with the written press.

The manager said:
"We'll sort that out during the summer. We have met his agent already but we'll finish the job in the summer.
"[At the moment] we focus on the competition. Anyway, there is still one year to go [on Nasri's contract] in the summer.
"You can reproach me that I'm always confident."
I don't doubt that the manager believes Nasri will sign, but I think it's a bit of a gamble. Obviously we're not going to sell him in the January transfer window when he's having the best season of his Arsenal career, but I don't think we should stop the negotiations now. 

I think a resolution should be sort before the summer and if a deal can't be reached, we know before the end of the season that he'll be on the transfer list.

Perhaps I'm being over sensitive to the situation but we've seen other players run down their contracts and leave for nothing. And I really thought those days had gone. It's not the manager who is sitting down and thrashing out the details with player and his agent but the chief executive Ivan Gazidis. 

And I know we've got games coming thick and fast, but there should be a window found to get this very important piece of business tied up. Between now and the end of May there must be a few days were this can all be resolved?

Perhaps the delay is down to the player rather than the club. It may be that Nasri wants to see how we finish this season and what we win before committing himself to a long term contract. 

Anyway, whoever is responsible for the delay, I hope it's sorted sooner rather than later.

The manager yesterday praised another young player of the Nasri ilk who could be making the move to north London at the end of the season.

Eden Hazard has been linked with us and told reporters from a French TV channel this week it was his dream to play for Arsenal.

Yesterday Wenger said the 20 year-old had what it took to play for us. Personally I think he would be an excellent signing for us.

The manager also backed Bacray Sagna after deciding not to appeal against his red card. The player himself admitted he lost the plot and promised it wouldn't happen again in an interview with Le Parisien.

Transfer window watch

Manuel Almunia's future at the club seems far from certain after the manager admitted to being in "no man's land" regarding the possibility of the player leaving. However, after sending  Vito Mannone back out on loan to Hull City and saying last month he needed three top goalkeepers, perhaps the Spaniard will be at the club until the end of the season.

It's emerged ten clubs are interested in signing Carlos Vela on loan but Wenger would prefer it if the Mexican went to another Premier League club

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas will also leave the club on loan, according to the boss.

There will be a Spanish loan move for young Brazilian Wellington Silva, who has invited everyone to a barbecue at his place to celebrate his 18th birthday on Thursday.


Arsene Wenger has been named manager of the past decade by the International Football Federation of History & Statistics.

FA Cup

The early team news is that Aaron Ramsey, Carlos Vela and Kieran Gibbs are included in the squad to face Leeds United. The manager has decided to rest Jack Wilshere and Laurent Koscielny and not to risk Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri who both have knocks.

It's interesting that Ramsey has been included. The manager says the Welshman is mentally ready to perform at the highest level, so it will be good to see how he gets on later.

Young Guns report that Ignasi Miquel will be on the bench, which would make sense considering our lack of depth in that position with Koscielny rested and Vermaelen still out.

I'll post my preferred line up a little later, along with the match preview.

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