Fabregas and Nasri's departure imminent

Arsene Wenger remains button-lipped about the departure of midfield duo while Roberto Mancini is eager to secure Nasri.

    Wenger seems to have lost the battle to keep playmaker Nasri at Arsenal [GALLO/GETTY]

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Friday declined to confirm reports that Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri were set to be sold on the eve of the Premier League campaign.

    However, he did confirm that Fabregas and Nasri would not be included in the squad for the Newcastle match on Saturday. 

    After days of intense speculation that Fabregas is on the brink of being sold to Barcelona, with Nasri heading to Manchester City, Wenger batted away questions about the two players at a press conference.

    "I expect nobody to leave," Wenger said at the club's training ground as Arsenal prepared to travel to Newcastle for their season-opener.

    "The best thing for us one day before the championship starts is not to focus on possible transfers.

    "At the moment there is no news. If there is news I promise I will give it. I will decide what's best for the club."

    Asked if he was disappointed at the attitude of Fabregas and Nasri in apparently engineering their transfers, Wenger replied: "My personal feelings are not important. What is important is the club and how well we do.

    "I have not been disappointed with their attitudes. They are professionals. I take nothing personally"

    Arsene Wenger

    "I have not been disappointed with their attitudes. They are professionals. I take nothing personally.

    "The transfer speculation is disruptive but that is not an excuse."

    Several British reports on Thursday said Arsenal had agreed a transfer deal with Barcelona which would see Fabregas return to his boyhood club.

    In an interview on Arsenal's official website late on Thursday, Wenger said he hoped the Fabregas situation would "be sorted out very quickly one way or the other."

    He also said he hoped to resolve the uncertainty surrounding Nasri before the start of the new Premier League campaign season.

    "Ideally you want it to be sorted out before the season starts," he said.

    Frustrated Mancini

    Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini will not be happy about kicking off the season on Monday without securing Nasri from Arsenal.

    Mancini has made no secret of his desire to sign the French midfielder, breaking an unwritten rule last month of not naming transfer targets, and while he did not mention him by name at Friday's news conference, the questions he faced were all about him.

    "We have not completed our team and I hope that we can do this very very quickly because we need other players," the Italian said.

    "I think that the club is still working on this (Nasri deal), it is not easy... it is important we can complete our
    team very quickly in the next days and next week because the first games are very important.

             City boss Mancini could end up with Tevez and Nasri in squad at start of the season [GALLO/GETTY] 

    "I think that if we complete our squad... I think we can fight for the title this year."

    He was frustrated that an agreement had not been reached earlier, saying he preferred players to arrive before the season so that they had more time to prepare with their team mates.

    While bringing in one player is taking some time, the possible sale of another is also dragging on with Mancini saying there had been no new approaches for unsettled striker Carlos Tevez.

    Meanwhile Liverpool has completed the signing of Spanish left back Jose Enrique from Premier League rival Newcastle.

    Liverpool did not say how much they had paid for the 25-year-old defender but British media widely reported a fee of around $10 million.

    Enrique links up with former Newcastle teammate Andy Carroll as Liverpool's fifth signing of the summer transfer window.

    Enrique says he expects success with his new club, adding that "they spent a lot of money in January on Andy and Luis Suarez and this summer they've spent a lot of money on other players."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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