Nasri wants Ballon D’Or

Samir Nasri has revealed that his primary motivation in seeking a move away from Arsenal is not money, but personal glory.

It has long been mooted that Nasri’s refusal to sign a new deal at the club which made him so well renowned was due to the fact more cash was on offer elsewhere and also that a Bosman deal next summer would allow him to roll around on his bed throwing bundles of high denomination notes about the place whilst touching his special area.

However, Nasri told the News of of the World that money was not part of his decision making process. “We already earn huge wages. The priority is to make a big career and to win titles. I am hungry for titles. I play football because I love this sport and want to feel the emotion of winning.

“With no titles under your belt, you can’t be in the list for the Ballon D’Or”.

Nasri’s desire to win football’s most prestigious individual award may only happen if his salary crosses the £100,ooo per week mark, and with Arsenal only offering a piffling £90,000 he may well have to make a very difficult decision to ensure his footballing ambitions are achieved.

Our thoughts are with him.

 

Bendtner waiting for ‘concrete’ offer

According to his father, Nicklas Bendtner has yet to be the subject of any formal bids despite interest from all of Europe’s ‘big leagues’.

The Danish international, who spoke publically about his desire to quit Arsenal last month, is thought to have been approached by Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund and Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, however, with time on his side it appears he is willing to hold on as long as possible with a view to assessing all potential offers.

Premier League duo Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers have been tipped as possible destinations, while Italian sides Inter Milan and AC Milan are also long-standing admirers.

The 23-year-old will return to pre-season with the Gunners next week, although it remains to be seen whether he travels on the club’s pre-season tour of the Far East.

Speaking to Sporten.tv2.dk Thomas Bendtner revealed:

“There has been interest from all the big leagues, but there is nothing concrete yet.

“The window is open for a long time.”

Much maligned by sections of the Arsenal fan base, Bendtner nevertheless has a decent goalscoring record. From 40 Premier League starts he has a total of 22 goals, and an overall Arsenal tally of 43 despite missing large portions of the last two seasons through injury and playing many games out of position.

A natural centre-forward he found himself forced wide due to the form of Robin van Persie, although his best goalscoring period came when given a run of games in the middle.

 

Galatasaray to return with €14m Arshavin bid

Russian publication Life Sports claims that Turkish side Galatasaray failed in a bid to sign Andrey Arshavin last season but still haven’t given up hope of signing the midfielder.

Claiming contact with the player’s agent, the report declares that coach Fatih Terim has identified the diminutive attacking midfielder as a possible summer addition as he looks to restore the Istanbul giants to their perch at the top of Turkish football.

It is thought Galatasaray will lodge a bid in the region of €14m while offering Arshavin a lucrative three year contract worth €9m.

Arshavin has already spoken about wanting to see out the last year of his contract with the Gunners despite speculation linking him with a return to Zenit St Petersburg.

Despite being a near ever-present in Arsene Wenger’s side last season, the 30-year-old struggled to consistently produce his best form and was on the receiving end of harsh criticism in certain quarters of the media. Despite his occasionally wayward performances the Russian still scored 10 goals in all competitions while providing numerous assists for teammates.

Gervinho: I’m going to Arsenal to play and win

Gervinho has spoken for the first time about why he has chosen to move to Arsenal as the Arsene Wenger gets ready to unveil the Ivorian as his first big money signing of the summer.

The 24-year-old, who can play either up front or on the wings, has been linked with a move to the Emirates since helping Lille to an historic Ligue 1 and Coupe de France Double in May.

Speaking with enthusiasm about Arsenal’s style of play, Gervinho is quoted by the The Sun stating:

“I chose Arsenal because it’s a young group within which I will be able to integrate easily. I could develop more over there. There’s only a few details left to sort out.

“A risk? Not at all. I’m going to Arsenal to play. The best risk to take is to look to score goals and to play a lot.

“In football you have to take risks if you want to win. I’m going to Arsenal to win.”

Gervinho had been linked with a number of clubs across the continent with Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool all thought to have been keeping tabs on his progress.

Nevertheless, speaking to France Football he made very clear that playing for the Gunners was always his number one aim:

“I had no hesitation. None. But in a transfer there’s always a period of analysis and negotiations.

“All sides had to be satisfied so that things could develop smoothly.

“I’m going there to play, not to be on the bench. Arsenal love the game. And I love teams that love the game.

“The Premier League is a notch above. It’s maybe the best league in the world. I want to live that sensation.”

 

 

Rosicky: Wenger does not want to sell me

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Tomas Rosicky has spoken publically about his future with the Gunners and revealed that Arsene Wenger has no intention of selling him ahead of the new season.

The Czech Republic international was thought to be one of a number of players set to be culled by the Frenchman this summer but made clear that despite not being guaranteed regular football he wishes to stay at Arsenal.

The 30-year-old was rewarded with a new contract at the Emirates in January 2010 even though he had missed a significant portion of the two preceding seasons.

Speaking to iDNES.cz, the former Borussia Dortmund man remarked:

“I don’t want to go somewhere where I would have it easier and where even the ordinary life would be easier for me. I want to achieve something with Arsenal.

“On Monday, I am starting pre-season with Arsenal. Before vacation I was speaking with coach Wenger and he told me he counted on my services and that there was no intention of selling me.”

A close friend of club captain Cesc Fabregas off the field, the midfielder also made clear that he had no idea whether the Spaniard would be staying in London.

“I was talking to him on the phone recently, but I don’t know,” said Rosicky.

“Even if I knew, I wouldn’t tell. I would like to see him stay because he is a good mate as well as an excellent football player.”

News of Rosicky’s likely stay comes quick off the heels of a statement from the agent of Denilson who hinted his client was also expecting to stay with Arsenal despite publically revealing his intention to leave last month.

Playing down rumours of a move to AC Milan, representative Gerardo Santiago told Calcio Mercato:

“Currently there are no negotiations. The only certainty right now is that Denilson will be at training with Arsenal on July 7.

“With Wenger we often talk about other issues, but we have never touched on the topic of a possible departure for Denilson.”

While Denilson and Rosicky look certs to make the pre-season tour of the Far East the likelihood of French duo Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy joining them appears uncertain. Both players were heavily linked today with a move to Manchester City with Roberto Mancini reportedly ready to offer a combined fee of £27 million.

 

Wenger confirms full squad for Asian tour

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Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal’s upcoming Asian tour will feature his ‘best possible squad’. Although very early in the pre-season, and at a stage when fitness is the primary concern, the Arsenal manager is also keen to ensure the club reaps the full benefits from the trip to the China and Malaysia.

Wenger has long been opposed to what were perceived as tiring long distance trips, prefering instead to focus on the Austrian training camp. However, financial necessities and a chance to make contact with Arsenal’s many fans in the region have played a part.

Speaking to Arsenal.com, Wenger said, “For a long time I resisted but more and more the Premier League becomes a world league. So it’s important that we develop our fan base as well, and develop the number of fans we have in Asia through the quality of our games”.

And with regard to the players he’ll have available he said, “I will take the best possible squad. We travel after the first week’s training, everybody will be back, so the whole squad will travel”.

It is thought a number of young players will also travel to give them experience with the first team as well as allowing the manager a larger group to pick from when the games against the Malaysia XI and Chinese Super League side Hangzhou Greentown take place.

A large range of bookmakers are offering incredibly long odds than Arsenal will have made a signing by then.

 

Roberto Mancini joins list of Clichy suitors

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, Gael Clichy is a £7 million target for Manchester City.

The French international’s list of suitors appears to be growing on an almost daily basis with Roberto Mancini’s side joining Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and AS Roma as a possible destination.

The Citizens have struggled to find a suitable long-term candidate for the left-back position since their takeover by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Wayne Bridge was signed for £10 million from Chelsea in 2009, Alexander Kolarov cost £16 million from Lazio while Joleon Lescott’s move from Everton cost upwards of £22million.

Clichy, 25, is thought to be stalling on a new deal at the Emirates despite Arsene Wenger publically stating his desire to keep hold of the energetic left-back. Leighton Baines and Jose Enrique have been tipped as possible successors with reservations lingering over the long-term suitability of young duo Kieran Gibbs and Armand Traore.

 

Report: Galliani sounds out Nasri in Paris

According to Italian publication Corriere dello Sport, AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliano travelled to Paris yesterday with a view to sounding out a possible move for Samir Nasri.

The newspaper claims that the trip to the French capital has echoes of one made in 2008 when officials from the Italian side sealed the free signing of former Gunner Mathieu Flamini following negotiations in a private room in Paris Orly airport.

Milan are understood to be analysing several possible midfield targets having given up on trying to sign Marik Hamsek from Napoli and Ganso from Santos.

With only one year left on his contract at the Emirates it has been suggested that Arsene Wenger cash-in on the former Marseille man this summer if the 24-year-old refuses to sign a new deal.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with Nasri since the end of the season, while Inter Milan are also supposed long-term admirers.

Pundit: Bendtner’s sights too high

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Former Danish international and TV pundit Morten Bruun believes Nicklas Bendtner needs to lower his expectations if he is to secure a move away from Arsenal.

Speaking to Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet, he said, “For Nicklas, it’s time now to get his career back on track, lower his ambition and think about playing above all else. I find it hard to see why he can not play for Blackburn or Everton.

When you look at Bendtner’s career, you have to say it’s some time since he has delivered at the highest level”.

Bendtner’s father, and agent, Thomas Bendtner, claimed earlier this month that Sporting Lisbon and Borussia Dortmund had interest in the player. Both teams have subsequently, and categorically, denied this.

With Arsenal’s pre-season training set to begin early next week, and with his rather definitive statement expressing his desire to leave hanging over him, it appears Bendtner may have no choice but to lower his sights if he really wants a move.

There has been speculation in the last few days that he might be offered to Bolton as part of Arsenal’s attempts to sign Gary Cahill. With the departure of Johan Elmander, Wanderers are in need of a striker, and alongside Arsenal’s reluctance to pay the £17m release clause in Cahill’s contract, a cash + player deal could well be the best move for all concerned.

However even if he does move to a club outside the Champions League, it seems unlikely Bendtner will credit Bruun’s advice. The pair clashed in February when Bruun, along with Martin Laursen, criticised Bendtner’s lack of playing time at Arsenal. Nick replied, “Their opinions mean nothing to me”.

Song hires lawyers to fight ‘unjust’ Eto’o penalty

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Having been fined US$2,000 for failing to shake the hand of international colleague Samuel Eto’o, it’s safe to say that Alex Song is in a pretty foul mood. So foul in fact that he is now ready to appeal the punishment imposed by the Cameroon Football Federation by taking them to court.

The incident, which took place in a Yaounde hotel ahead of the Indomitable Lions’ African Cup of Nations qualifier against Senegal, has earned big headlines in Cameroon even though his legal team believe that the Arsenal man has not technically infringed any rules.

Despite the fine being replaced by a three day stint coaching youngsters, lawyer Sebastien Song is quoted by Chinese News Agency Xinhua stating:

“The fact that you refuse to shake hands with a team-mate does not constitute a breach of the body’s rules and regulations.

“The incident took place in a private gathering and can’t be blamed on my client (Alex Song). More to that, the coach who was present at the scene did to include the incident in his report to the FA because he felt Alex didn’t break any rules.

“It is a stupefying verdict that we’ll not sit back and accept. It is totally unjust and we’ll use all available means to appeal and overturn it.”

Song is currently gearing up for a return to pre-season training with the Gunners as Arsene Wenger’s side prepare for a tour of the Far East.