By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger decided to let Samir Nasri leave for “psychological and financial reasons”.
Arsenal agreed terms with Manchester City for the purchase of the midfielder on Tuesday, just before the Emirates Stadium side departed to Udinese and a crucial Champions League Play-off second leg tie.
Nasri trained with the side that morning and, as against Liverpool at the weekend, would have lined up against the Italian outfit if selected. He did not know that Wenger made up his mind on the move just before the session. Later, the manager said he was reluctant to let the 24-year-old go but admitted he had to be “a realist” given the French international would have been able to leave on free transfer at the end of next season and able to sign a pre-contract in January.
“Samir trained on Tuesday morning,” said Wenger. “But I knew before training. He didn’t know, the decision was made this morning just before training. He came in to practice.
“I don’t question Samir Nasri's commitment or professionalism. If I told him ‘you come with us and play’, he would have played like he did on Saturday but you wonder what kind of a commitment you can have.
“Football rules are made like that, that the player can be worth a lot of money today and nothing in six months so it doesn’t look completely logical but, at the end of the day, of course, we are forced into a decision like that for psychological and financial reasons.
“I am a realist so I have no illusions. It's part of the modern life of a professional football player. It's not that by coincidence that everybody suddenly lands at Man City.
“We did not want to lose Fabregas, but we were forced into a situation we didn’t want. Nasri is a situation where the player didn’t want to extend his contract with the proposals he had somewhere else. What kind of commitment can you have when the player is not there long-term? That is the question you have to answer.”Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source