Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 26 May 2016

Samir Nasri: Arsenal fans 'not that passionate'

Published 25/08/2011

Samir Nasri is looking forward to playing for Manchester City's "passionate" fans.

The 24-year-old France international claims to have already been struck by an enthusiasm from supporters he did not experience at Arsenal.

Nasri yesterday completed his protracted move from the Gunners to City by signing a four-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.

"I can see they are really passionate and it reminds me a little bit of Marseille," Nasri told City TV after posing for photographs at Eastlands.

"Arsenal have good fans but not that passionate since they moved from Highbury to the Emirates (Stadium).

"I remember when we played against City, when we lost 3-0, the crowd was amazing.

"That is what I want. When you play football it is for a good atmosphere."

Nasri was entering the final year of his Arsenal contract and the Gunners reluctantly decided to cash in after the former Marseille player made clear his desire to leave.

City appear to have spent most of the summer pursuing the deal and the player himself is pleased his future is now settled.

He added: "It is a big relief, it was a long negotiation and discussion between the two clubs.

"Finally I am a City player and that is what I wanted since the start, so I am really happy.

"I was a little bit frustrated, I said to the manager I wanted to leave.

"I wanted to do the pre-season with Manchester so I could know a little bit more about my team-mates.

"It was frustrating but it is a new start and I am looking forward to doing it."

Nasri, who scored 15 goals last season, could now make his City debut in this Sunday's Barclays Premier League encounter at Tottenham.

He is City's fourth major signing of the summer transfer window following the club record £38million purchase of Sergio Aguero and the arrivals of defenders Stefan Savic and Gael Clichy.

Manager Roberto Mancini said: "He's a fantastic player because he has technique, he has mentality.

"I knew him when he played for Marseille, I followed him when I was at Inter and we wanted to take him five years ago.

"But I think in the last three years in the Premier League he's improved a lot. Now I think he's a top player."

Arsenal had been reluctant to part company with one of their prized assets - particularly so soon after losing former captain Cesc Fabregas - but Nasri's determination to leave appears to have forced their hand.

The London club at least seem to have made a profit on the player they signed from his hometown Marseille for £15.8million in 2008.

A fee has not been disclosed but it is believed to be around the £24million mark.

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