BOLTON, United Kingdom, August 22 – Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has warned Arsene Wenger that he might not sign Samir Nasri if the French midfielder plays in Arsenal’s Champions League tie on Wednesday.
Mancini is keen to bring Nasri to Eastlands in a £25 million move before the transfer window shuts on August 31, but the deal has taken longer than expected as agents reportedly haggle over their cut of the transfer.
Arsenal boss Wenger surprisingly decided to play Nasri in Saturday’s defeat against Liverpool and that raises the possibility that he could feature against Udinese in Europe this week — which would make him ineligible to play for City in the Champions League.
The struggling Gunners have only a slender 1-0 lead from the first leg and Wenger needs all the experienced players he can find at present, but Mancini hinted that the move could be off if Nasri is cup-tied.
“I hope that we can have Samir Nasri in the next days,” Mancini said.
“If he plays in the Champions League for Arsenal it is a big problem. I don’t know if I would still sign him, but hopefully we will be close in the next 24 hours.
“We still have 10 days. We need some players if we want to complete our team. I hope he (Nasri) is not the last one in.”
Mancini’s team showed they can win without Nasri as goals from David Silva, Gareth Barry and Edin Dzeko clinched a 3-2 victory over Bolton at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday.
City cruised to a comfortable win against Premier League new boys Swansea last week, but they were put under far more pressure in this contest as Bolton matched them in the opening stages.
Sergio Aguero thrashed over Dzeko’s cross after 18 minutes when all he had to do was beat Jussi Jaaskelainen from 10 yards out.
Yet that missed chance was the last luck Jaakelainen would be receiving as he made a dreadful error shortly before the half hour mark to gift City the lead.
Silva’s effort was hit directly at him but as the ball swerved slightly in the air, the Bolton keeper entirely misjudged the direction of the shot to give City the lead.
Mancini’s men grabbed a second goal before the break as Bolton fell asleep at a corner and gave Barry far too much time and space and he punished them with a wonderful long-distance shot that left Jaaskelainen no chance.
Ivan Klasnic showed Bolton had some fight left as he instantly halved the deficit for the home side.
Former City winger Martin Petrov crossed into the box from the left and Klasnic dashed in front of Joleon Lescott and beat Joe Hart from close range.
Dzeko added the third goal for City after half-time before Kevin Davies got one back for Bolton.
“We need to pay more attention. We cannot afford to concede these goals and we need to pay more attention on this if we want to be a good team,” Mancini added.
Bolton boss Owen Coyle took heart from the way his team pushed one of the Premier League’s big spenders right to the final whistle.
“City have assembled a terrific team and you have to give credit where credit is due,” Coyle said.
“It would have been easy to feel sorry for ourselves at 2-0 down and 3-1 down but we fought positively and that is what we will take from the match.”