Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Mancini hopeful of Nasri swoop but ponders ‘big problem’

Roberto Mancini remains hopeful of tying up a deal for Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri in the next two days but admits it would be a “big problem” if the Frenchman played for the Gunners in their Champions League clash with Udinese on Wednesday.

Manchester City have been chasing Nasri for much of the summer but the proposed deal is still up in the air and the midfielder made his first appearance of the season in Arsenal's 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat by Liverpool yesterday.

Were Gunners boss Arsene Wenger to select Nasri for their Champions League qualifier in Udine, he would then be unavailable for City throughout the group stages.

After the 3-2 win over Bolton that put City top of the fledgling Premier League table, the City manager expressed his frustration that the deal for the Frenchman has not yet been finalised.

City showed why they are expected to be title challengers with an impressive display against Bolton, albeit without ever putting the game to bed.

Goals from David Silva, Gareth Barry and Edin Dzeko were the least City deserved, but Ivan Klasnic and Kevin Davies kept Wanderers in contention right until the end.

Carlos Tevez was a second-half substitute for City, making his first appearance of the campaign after a close season in which he made clear his desire to leave the club to be nearer to his family in South America.

A proposed switch to Corinthians fell through and Mancini does not expect Tevez to leave before the end of August.

He said: “Carlos is here, I don't think the situation will change. Carlos is an important player, a top player for us and at the moment we haven't received any offers for him.”

Of his team's display, Mancini added: “I think we put in a good performance. We played very well. Bolton are a strong team and I think we deserved to win this game.”

Bolton boss Owen Coyle was delighted with his side's play and attitude but was left frustrated by the goals they conceded.

The Scot said: “(My players) more than fought very well, they showed a lot of great quality on the ball and there were some terrific passing moves, accepting you're playing against an elite club, a club that's spent vast amounts of wealth, and they've assembled a terrific team.

“You have to give credit where credit's due and the way they can pass and move the ball we're all aware of because of the quality they have.

“But my disappointment is we probably gifted them one or two of the goals.

“And if top clubs are going to beat you then let them go and earn it. But they had chances in the game as we did.”

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