Talks between Arsenal's Samir Nasri and Manchester United have come to nothing and the player now appears likely to remain at Arsenal for another season.
Nasri is now set to head into the final year of his current £55,000-a-week contract and reconsider his options as a free agent at the end of next season. Arsenal are gambling on the 2011-12 campaign being more successful than the one just gone which will persuade the 23-year-old – who is disillusioned with a lack of silverware – to sign new terms, either during the next season or 12 months from now.
This constitutes a major gamble on the club's part, as they paid £15.8m to take Nasri from Marseilles in 2008, though the France midfielder is intent on continuing his career in the Premier League. Arsenal believe their relationship with him is strong despite the player having held initial talks with Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have made the first formal summer move for Tottenham's Luka Modric, lodging a £22m bid which Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy rejected out of hand yesterday afternoon. Roman Abramovich's initial offer, which had been expected, could rise to more than £30m.
Manchester City are another possible destination for Modric, though the idea of Stamford Bridge is understood to appeal more. Chelsea's ability to eclipse the Croatian playmaker's £40,000-a-week salary leaves Spurs with a struggle to keep him.