Continued activity in the transfer market overshadows Manchester City’s preparations for Sunday’s trip to Bolton Wanderers. Speculation has been rife in the media that City are on the cusp of sealing a £25m deal to sign Arsenal’s Samir Nasri, bringing to a conclusion one of the most protracted transfer sagas of the summer.
As one Arsenal employee looks set to join the Abu Dhabi revolution, another former Arsenal man looks set for the exit. Harry Redknapp has made concrete Tottenham Hotspur’s interest in taking Emmanuel Adebayor on loan, claiming the Togolese hit man has the ability to be a “sensational”
Reports in the British media suggest that Nasri was due to undergo a medical with Manchester City, with personal terms on a five-year contract already agreed. Whilst the deal may not be concluded in time for Nasri to be considered for Sunday’s potentially tricky fixture – Roberto Mancini is indeed thought to be disappointed that negotiations have dragged on beyond the start of the season – it nevertheless looks to have solved another of the problems which dogged City last season. City’s midfield threesome was often accused of being overly cautious. With 10 Premier League goals to his name last season, Nasri will be asked to remedy that.
There seems to be a concerted effort at Eastlands to rid the side of the reservations and the self-doubts which hindered them last season. Allied to the purchase of Sergio Aguero, Nasri’s transfer hints that City’s style of football will be a whole lot more proactive throughout the forthcoming season. This will be a team built to attack, rather than counter-attack, to score more, rather than concede fewer, than the opposition.
Talk from the dressing room suggests that settling for a place in the Champions League will not be enough. Buoyed by his sensational debut, Aguero has since spoken of targeting the Premier League title in his debut season in English football – a sentiment echoed throughout the club during the summer. “This is a team with a lot of quality,” he said. “I know it’s a competitive league, but we’re here to win it in the end.”
In fact, Aguero has his own personal reasons for maintaining the form displayed in his debut cameo at the Etihad Stadium. His previous trip to Bolton Wanderers, City’s weekend opposition, ended in humiliation when, as a 19-year-old Atletico Madrid player, he was sent off for spitting at Matthew Taylor in a UEFA Cup fixture. Indeed, Aguero recounted that dismal evening in February 2008 to the Manchester Evening News and vowed to make amends with another match winning performance.
“I spat in the direction of the player, but not at the player himself,” he said. “However the officials thought I had, and they suspended me. I don’t know what it will be like when I go back, but hopefully I can make City’s supporters happy.” Something in the mould of Monday’s sensational display should do the trick.