Roberto Mancini has threatened to pull the plug on the Samir Nasri transfer deal because Arsene Wenger could cup tie the French midfielder if he is featured in the Udinese second leg playoffs.
Wenger has made clear he expects Nasri to be ready to play which if it should happen will render him ineligible to play for City in the CL should the transfer go through. Mancin's reaction to that possibility:
"If he plays in the Champions League [for Arsenal] it is a big problem. I don't know [if we would still sign him]. I'm sure we can close the deal."
Mancini has directed his anger at the City board for footdragging on the Nasri transfer. He said they had 40 days to act and he doesn't know why they didn't close it. There has obviously been quite a bit of back and forth with respect to Nasri. It's possible that the board did not rate him on the scale of a Sergio Aguero signing. So far City have looked very good going forward and Mancini reserved his concerns for the defensive lapses which allowed Bolton to comeback strongly in the match. A cup tied Nasri might weaken the resolve of the board further.
Wenger mentioned that the transfer will not happen for a long, long time and that Nasri is very happy at Arsenal which is how he characterized his frame of mind more than a month ago. A very positive spin on a gold-digging player. But it could also mean Wenger has made a personal appeal to Nasri now that the club faces a troubled season.
If this transfer deal falls through then Nasri can walk out on a free next season which of course makes for bad business sense but so does a premature end to further Champions League participation. There are far more serious consequences to a diminished European presence. More importantly, it puts Wenger under even greater pressure to set course for a fourth place finish.
Nasri did not look fazed while on the pitch against Liverpool with all the speculation swirling around. He gave a very good account for a player who had seen very little pre-season action. Arsenal should not count on that one goal advantage standing up for another 90+ minutes despite that lauded rearguard action at the Emirates. Udinese showed they were very strong going forward and only a lack of finish and some luck saved them from doing damage. With Nasri there is at least one player capable of weaving some individual magic.
UEFA has imposed a two match touchline ban on Arsene Wenger. Meanwhile Jose Mourinho can go around gouging out eyes, kicking a player while laying on the pitch, and engage in wholesale rabble rousing. No problems. Thank you sir, can I have another gouging with perhaps a serving of organ entrails on the side?