Samir Nasri is not an Arsenal player just yet despite claims on the France midfielder’s website that his move from Marseille was complete.
Nasri, who turns 21 later this week, is expected to join the Gunners at some stage in the next week but his agent Jean-Pierre Bernes insisted on Monday the reports on the midfielder’s site of a done deal were “premature”.
Bernes told French newspaper L’Equipe: “Nothing has been finalised. It is premature to announce this. Discussions are continuing between the two clubs and the player.”
The Gunners, in line with their usual policy, have made no official comment but the France international has long been a target of manager Arsene Wenger.
The posting on Nasri’s website claimed the player had signed a four-year contract with the Barclays Premier League club.
It is understood the midfielder – who can play down the centre or on the wing - is likely to cost Arsenal around £12m, and would be their second major signing of the summer following the capture of promising Welsh teenager Aaron Ramsey from under the noses of Manchester United.
Wenger had made it clear he continues to have great faith in his current young squad – which finished third after leading the Premier League for long spells last season.
However, he also accepted they would benefit from the addition of some experienced “super-talent”.
Wenger clearly believes Nasri has a bright future. Speaking earlier this month, he said: “At 21 years old his whole future is ahead of him and he has (quite) a margin for progressing further.
“He has, in any case, the qualities needed to assert himself at the highest level.”
Wenger has, though, already lost midfielder Mathieu Flamini, who walked out of Emirates Stadium to join AC Milan on a free transfer, and reports in Italy suggest leading scorer Emmanuel Adebayor could also soon follow if Arsenal do not up his current pay deal.
Belarus winger Alexander Hleb is another whose future is uncertain, while Wenger has been linked with a swoop for Russia’s Euro 2008 star midfielder Andrei Arshavin.