Something strange is going on in the Nasri transfer saga. Maybe it shouldn`t really matter. The deal will be done if and when it`s done if it`s going to happen. But something doesn`t smell quite right about it all. I accept that there are many points at which transfers can stumble but for one that seems to have had a pre-contract agreement in place for sometime this does seem extraordinarily protracted.
On the 22nd May Nasri`s agent Jean-Pierre Bernes claimed that Nasri was mulling over an offer from Arsenal. On the 25th May Wenger told us the deal was ‘likely to be done. If it happens` before Euro 2008. Come the 29th May and Henry Winter posts in the Telegraph that Arsenal had signed Nasri the previous day. On the 2nd June Wenger then told us “He interests me. I hope I will do it after the Euros”. Nasri`s website posts the news on the 23rd June that he would be joining Arsenal and then swiftly withdraws it with the news that his father who maintains his website had acted prematurely. On the 25th June Marseille’s Chairman Diouf tells us that he has a verbal agreement with Arsenal for Nasri`s transfer but not yet signed. On the 2nd July the same man tells us that the deal will be concluded in ‘one day` and then a ‘few days` within pretty much the same breath. Now just 2 days later Nasri`s agent J-P Bernes tells us that the deal will be concluded in 10 days when Nasri gets back from holidays.
Whatever the reasons for the delay might be it probably has little to do with holidays. If Fizsmans private jet can get Ramsey and his family to Switzerland to finalise matters it shouldn`t be too hard to get a bit of paper to Nasri wherever he is staying. Not that there aren`t any shortages of reasons for holding up the transaction. Everything from Nasri focussing on a Euro tournament in which he took little part to UK Stock exchange requirements, French taxation efficiencies and the need for Marseille to sign a replacement have all been put forward. All of it hogwash for the most part.
I am not sure which side, if any, is playing ducks and drakes in this game. If it`s Marseille and/or Bernes then shouldn`t we tell them the deal is either done in the next 24 hours or it`s off. If on the other hand the delay is on our side then why? What`s the hold up? Is it possible that if Hleb stays then Nasri doesn`t join? Then again maybe it`s all quite innocent and I am suffering from information overload about something that is best left to run it`s own course. Probably best not to think too much.
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