Manchester City round-up: Nasri leaves; contact made with Barcelona star; Gundogan could feature vs Everton
It was another day of transfer activity in and around the Etihad on Monday as want-away midfield man Samir Nasri completed his switch to Turkish Super Lig side Antalyaspor on a two-year contract.
The 30-year-old has been deemed surplus to requirements by Pep Guardiola since his arrival in Manchester last summer, and he immediately loaned the Frenchman out to La Liga outfit Sevilla.
Despite hinting that Nasri could fight for a spot in the side, by including him in the pre-season tour of the US, his exit was announced today, with BBC Sport reporting a fee close to £3 million has been agreed.
A statement on Manchester City’s official website read: “Everybody at the Club wishes Samir good luck in the next chapter of his career and would like to thank him for some fantastic memories.”
Nasri made 176 appearances for the Blues across all competitions, scoring 27 goals in his six seasons in Manchester, and he played a big part in the City squad that won Premier League titles in 2012 and 2014.
Meanwhile – yes, it’s that time of year again – reports coming from the Daily Record claim that Manchester City have met with Lionel Messi’s representatives to discuss a potential switch to England.
It is alleged that an informal meeting took place in a restaurant in Barcelona during last week to discuss the player’s situation, with Messi reportedly growing frustrated following Neymar’s £200 million exit.
Despite agreeing a new four-year contract in principle at Barcelona last month, the report claims that sources close to the club believe the 30-year-old is ‘seriously considering’ leaving the Nou Camp.
And it is understood that Manchester City’s long-term interest in Messi – influenced by their Abu Dhabi owner – has left the door open should the Argentine want a Premier League reunion with Pep Guardiola.
In other news, Ilkay Gundogan could potentially feature at some point tonight as Manchester City welcome a new-look Everton side to the Etihad Stadium for their opening home match of the year.
Manager Pep Guardiola – talking to the Manchester Evening News – had been insistent earlier in the week and said that he won’t rush Gundogan back into first-team action before he is 100% ready following his lengthy spell on the sidelines, when he suffered ligament damage back in December.
However, BBC Sport have claimed, just a matter of hours before kick-off, that the German could be in contention for a spot on the bench as City look to make it two wins out of two at the start of the new campaign.