Controversial former France, Arsenal and Manchester City superstar Samir Nasri is mulling over a lucrative move to Arabian Gulf League runners-up Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club, according to reports.
Nasri, 32, is currently unattached after an unremarkable six-month stint at West Ham United – which featured zero goals in six appearances – came to an end. This switch back to the Premier League followed an 18-month ban from UEFA because of doping violations, incurred after using an intravenous drip of 500 millilitres of water containing nutrients.
Foot Mercato has stated that the skilled, 41-times-capped ex-France international has already rejected approaches from Greek giants Olympiakos and an unnamed Ligue 1-outfit. A €4 million-per-annum, three-year deal at Rashid Stadium remains under consideration thanks to the generous terms on offer, plus the appeal of life in the UAE.
Shabab Al Ahli are yet to make any signings in the summer transfer window. They have been consistently linked to prolific Al Wasl forward Fabio De Lima, Al Hilal veteran Carlos Eduardo and Tigre midfielder Lucas Menossi.
Nasri would represent a glittering addition that would follow in the footsteps of previous high-profile Al Ahli recruits – made before May 2017’s shock merger – of Italy centre-back Fabio Cannavaro, Brazil striker Grafite and Senegal forward Moussa Sow.
The attacking midfielder came through at hometown club Marseille and was picked up by Arsenal for £12m in July 2008. A rancorous £25m transfer followed to City in August 2011.
He lifted five major trophies at Etihad Stadium, including the 2011/12 and 2013/14 Premier League crowns. But Nasri was deemed surplus to requirements by new head coach Pep Guardiola and was sent on loan to Sevilla for 2016/17, prior to a permanent exit to Turkey’s Antalyaspor in August 2017.
The Frenchman is no stranger to controversy. A “foul-mouthed tirade” after France’s quarter-final exit at Euro 2012 led to a three-match international ban, while his use of a drip when on holiday in Los Angeles – and subsequent promotion of it on social media – during summer 2016 had disastrous consequences.
If Shabab Al Ahli secure Nasri’s signature, they’ll hope for an improvement on ex-Les Bleus colleague Yohan Cabaye’s impact at neighbours Al Nasr. The midfielder was released in January, following just 13 AGL run-outs.
Meanwhile, the Blue Wave are expected to imminently announce the arrival of ex-Portugal Under-21 playmaker Toze after he ran down his contract at Vitoria Guimaraes.
Toze, 26, plundered nine goals and three assists in 31 Primeira Liga matches last term.
Wholesale changes at Al Maktoum Stadium are expected after 2018/19’s awful eighth-placed finish.
The long-term future of Manchester City and Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan still remains up in the air.
Gundogan, 28, has only one year remaining on the deal that brought him from Borussia Dortmund in 2016. This has led to conjecture about an impending exit from Etihad Stadium.
This talk was not dampened by the player himself when speaking to media in March.
“There is no decision yet, otherwise I would have signed or I would have rejected a contract,” he said. “I would say we are still in talks but I don’t feel that there is much pressure.
“We are still competing in all competitions and want to win every competition we are competing for.
“Obviously one day there has to be a decision but I am very happy at the moment here, especially about the way we play and playing under Pep.
“That is the main thing now. One day there will be a decision.”
Watch a transfer profile above to see a rundown of the complex situation:
Valencia are set to welcome a new goalkeeper for 2019/20 after they tied up a deal for Barcelona No2 Jasper Cillessen.
Their own Brazil international Neto is set to head the other way, with both players valued at €30 million.
Cillessen, 30, made 32 appearances in his three seasons at Camp Nou as back-up to Germany’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and his last game was the Copa del Rey final defeat to Valencia at the end of May.
A medical was passed by him in Valencia on Tuesday and he will officially join in early July. This will allow his move to go through in a different financial year, 2019/20, and help Los Che in regards to meeting Financial Fair Play requirements.
What can the Mestalla faithful expect from the Netherlands internationals? Watch the above transfer profile to find out: